Stopping after a California car accident is not just a good idea, it is typically a requirement. Failing to stop at a car accident involving injuries can often result in criminal actions being taken against a driver who is found to have been responsible for causing the incident. This appears to be the case for one California man who apparently caused a fatal accident that claimed the life of a 71-year-old man and left his wife of the same age suffering from major injuries.
Authorities responded to the scene of a reported accident at the corner of Main Street and Balsam Avenue in Hesperia, California. They apparently found the vehicle carrying the elderly couple, along with the seriously-injured occupants, but the other vehicle was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, however, witnesses to the accident were able to give authorities enough information that they later tracked down the second vehicle.
According to eyewitness accounts, the second vehicle veered in front of the first vehicle in a last-minute lane change. This caused the first vehicle to run off of the road, ultimately causing major injuries to the couple in that vehicle. The man who allegedly caused the accident failed to stop at the scene. Police officials later tracked the man to a trailer park, where he reportedly confessed that he knew he had caused a crash.
The California man suspected of causing this fatal car accident is now facing charges of both vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash. Independent of the criminal allegations, he could potentially find himself facing some sort of civil lawsuit as well. While there are not yet reports this will occur, many surviving relatives find they can file a wrongful death lawsuit against an individual who evidence indicates has caused or significantly contributed to a fatal crash. Only time will tell if that proves to be the case in this particular situation.
Source: ContraCostaTimes.com, "Hesperia man arrested in fatal car crash," Melissa Pinion-Whitt, March 27, 2013