Police Say Man with Revoked License Caused Accident That Killed Washington Man

An Oregon man has been arrested after he allegedly caused a fatal traffic accident that killed a Washington state man on Interstate 5 in Portland Friday evening.

Police say that 56-year-old Ronald David Witt was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck on I-5 at approximately 5:30 p.m. when he rear-ended a Chevrolet coupe, which eventually crashed into the rear-end of an Audi. The crash killed 52-year-old Thomas Swift of Vancouver, Wash., but it is unclear which vehicle he was in when the crash occurred.

Police say that Witt’s license had been revoked, but that did not prevent the man from getting behind the wheel and causing the accident that resulted in Swift’s death. Interestingly, it was also revealed that Witt had been arrested for DUI in 1994 and again in 2005, and in 2008 he refused to take a breathalyzer test during an investigation into another possible DUI.

In all, Witt has reportedly had his driver’s license suspended or revoked a total of seven times in his life. Police do not believe that Witt was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of Friday’s fatal crash, but nonetheless it is obvious that the man should not have been on the roadway.

Crash Highlights Importance of Proper Insurance Coverage

The details of this particular crash are devastating and saddening, but the accident is also an example of the reality of driving on American roadways. There are plenty of people just like Mr. Witt on our roadways each and every day, and when a person is driving without a license, there is a good chance that they are also driving without auto insurance.

According to DMV.org, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked driver’s license in most states in the U.S. Therefore, a person with a suspended or revoked driver’s license will typically be rejected by car insurance companies if they attempt to obtain coverage while the license is invalid.

In these types of cases, a person who has purchased Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection will still be able to bring a claim against their own insurance company for the damages that were caused by a driver who either did not have insurance or did not have adequate coverage to pay for the damages that result from an accident.

For more information about Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection, check out other blog posts and FAQs on the topic below:

Uninsured Motorist & Underinsured Motorist Insurance Benefits

Understanding the Facts about Auto Insurance Coverage

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.
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