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Truck driver chokes, causes fatal truck accident in California?

In a fairly bizarre turn of events, the driver of a big rig who nearly choked on food he was eating stands accused of causing a fatal collision in California. The tragic truck accident happened not too far from Sacramento when the driver of a tractor trailer lost consciousness after choking on food. While he did return to alertness fairly quickly, that awakening came too late for the two people who died and the two others who were injured in the incident.

The truck driver suffered injuries in the accident as well. The events unfolded while that driver was headed east along Interstate 80, a few miles west of Sacramento. A California Highway Patrol official reported that, after the man passed out, the truck swerved first onto the right shoulder, and then went over the center median and into the path of oncoming traffic.

At that point, the man apparently regained consciousness, but it was too late to avoid a BMW that was approaching in a westbound lane. The head-on collision between the much larger truck and the smaller vehicle actually caused the BMW to catch on fire. The two occupants of that vehicle, a driver and passenger, died in the accident. During the course of the runaway truck's swerving, two other vehicles were struck, causing two individuals in addition to the truck driver to suffer relatively minor injuries.

There is not yet any word on whether this truck driver could face any criminal charges in relation to this fatal truck accident. Even if he doesn't, however, he could still potentially find himself facing a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit from either the survivors or family members of those who died. California law provides such victims or their surviving relatives the opportunity to pursue financial restitution in the event that a person's negligence caused or contributed to an accident leading to injury or death.

Source: rgj.com, "2 dead along I-80 near Sacramento after truck driver chokes," March 28, 2013

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