Fatal Wrong-Way Accident Appears to Have Been Intentional

In Santa Cruz on Monday a fatal head-on collision took the life of a 59-year-old California woman. The California Highway Patrol is now saying that the 28-year-old man who caused the accident, did so on purpose. The woman died at the scene.

The fatal accident occurred just after three o'clock near the spot where highway 17 connects to highway 1. According to law enforcement officials, the man intentionally drove his Acura SUV the wrong way on highway 17. While he apparently did intend to crash into a vehicle, that it was this specific woman's specific car was simply a random choice.

Another driver said that she saw the man's SUV coming the wrong way up the highway at full speed. That driver said it appeared he was swerving not to avoid other vehicles but instead trying to crash directly into another car.

After the crash the man's SUV quickly burst into flames. Despite the violent collision and ensuing fire, the man who was driving the SUV was unharmed in the accident. He remains in jail facing criminal charges.

The woman who lost her life was a mother of four and worked in the maternity ward at Sutter Medical Center.

In most wrongful death cases arising from fatal accidents, there is some question of whether the driver that caused the accident was negligent or driving recklessly. Many times distraction or intoxication plays a role. Those incidents are tragic and heartbreaking but at some level comprehensible. For an individual to intentionally crash head-on into a random car on the freeway is beyond understanding.

Source: KSBW Action 8 News "Fishhook Wrong-Way Crash Victim ID'd" Amy Larson, July 12, 2011

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