Holiday weekends are often known for an increased risk of car accidents and, tragically, deaths stemming from such crashes. One California auto collision that happened recently in Colma caused the deaths of all three passengers in a Ford Mustang. The fatal accident happened on Memorial Day, and authorities believe that alcohol was the major contributing factor that led to the horrific crash.
California officials also maintain that speeding played a role in the accident. A 25-year-old man was behind the wheel of that Ford Mustang and slammed into the rear of a Honda Civic. The force of the collision was so strong that the Mustang actually ripped into two pieces. All of the man's passengers, three people in their early 20s, died in the collision.
What may seem even more incomprehensible to family members of those killed, the driver reportedly ran from the scene of the accident and did not turn himself in to authorities until six hours after the crash. A judge is expected to slap the man with official criminal charges, including felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and gross negligence. The man could potentially find himself facing civil penalties at a later date, as well.
There is not yet any indication that this will be the case for sure, but California wrongful death law allows those who lose loved ones in an auto collision to pursue civil actions in court under certain circumstances. Pursuing such a wrongful death lawsuit requires the demonstration of evidence that a person's negligence caused or contributed to a fatal accident. If this particular man is convicted of the criminal charges, that finding would most likely strengthen any civil case that surviving relatives might wish to pursue in the future.
Source: The Fresno Bee, "Driver in No. Calif. triple fatal crash arraigned," May 30, 2013