On Tuesday night, two chain reaction crashes on Manchester Ave. and Broadway in South Los Angeles killed one man and injured three others. Police believe that the accidents may be connected to a drive-by shooting that occurred shortly before the accident. One motorist involved in the accident left the scene of the accident -- his or her silver Pontiac hit a Saturn, killing the driver.
While the shooting may have played a role, it is yet unclear what caused the two motor vehicle accidents to occur simultaneously. One accident happened in the westbound lane of Manchester Ave.; the other, in the eastbound lane. There is speculation that the accidents were the result not only of a drive-by shooting but also a gang fight involving between-car gun fire and damage to at least eight vehicles.
Accidents involving multiple events, including criminal events, can be challenging to investigate. In this case, the following issues arise:
- Causation: Who caused the accidents? Were the accidents simultaneous or did one accident lead to the other?
- Hit-and-run: Will authorities be able to locate the driver of the silver Pontiac? If not, do the families have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that they can turn to for compensation for their injuries?
- Criminal activity: Was the drive-by shooting related to the accidents? If so, was it sufficiently related that a driver involved in the shooting may be held criminally accountable for the death that occurred?
While police officers and investigators attempt to determine the chain of events that led to these accidents, others are in mourning and looking for answers. Hopefully, through both criminal and civil investigations and trials, these families will find answers and recover compensation to help them move forward.
Source: KTTV Los Angeles, “Drive-By Causes Chain Reaction Crash, 1 Dead,” Hal Eisner, May 1, 2013