According to witnesses, the driver of the car that swerved into multiple pedestrians on the Venice boardwalk was "moving purposely." One person was killed and at least 10 others injured when a man drove his car past five concrete barriers and onto the crowded boardwalk.
Onlookers say the driver was zigzagging intentionally, speeding through the boardwalk, trying to hit things and people. He fled the scene, but returned to the police station later, asking police how many people he injured. He is being held on murder charges and $1 million bail.
In 2003, a similar incident occurred at a Southern California farmer's market. In that accident, an 89-year-old man sped into the farmer's market, killing 10 people and injuring more than 70. The driver in the farmer's market accident, however, was not acting purposely. Authorities believe there is reason to suspect that the Venice Beach accident was no accident at all.
What happens when a driver intends to hurt people? Can victims still bring personal injury lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries or their loved ones' death? Yes. In fact, it is vital to bring a wrongful death/personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. While the criminal case will hold the driver accountable for his actions and could send him to prison, it will not give the victims the money they need to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, income loss and the emotional damages they have suffered as a result of the man's actions.
A civil lawsuit can. To learn more, visit our pages on personal injury/wrongful death.
Source: Los Angeles times, "Venice boardwalk crash: Victims describe moments of horror," Samantha Schaefer, Kurt Streeter, Ari Bloomekatz, Aug. 4, 2013