Three people died in a multi-car crash at an intersection in Fresno in late August. The accident occurred when an Apria Healthcare box truck ran a stop sign and crashed into a minivan. The minivan then struck a pickup truck, and the pickup truck hit a compact car.
All three victims of the fatal crash were in the van and died at the scene. A fourth person from the van was ejected but survived. Three people in the compact car were treated at the hospital for minor injuries. One person was in the pickup truck, and that person fled the scene on foot. Investigators surmise that the individual's actions may have been connected to the beer cans found on the road around the vehicle, but they were not certain at the time of the report. Blood was also found in the vehicle.
The driver of the box truck appeared to be uninjured, and investigators planned to test the truck for mechanical problems. It was not yet known whether the driver would be charged.
The families of the individuals who were killed may wish to file a wrongful death claim. This claim can cover funeral expenses and lost wages, among other damages. In order to file a successful claim following a car crash, it is necessary to prove negligence. This means demonstrating that the person or entity found responsible did not exercise a reasonable amount of care.
A civil case is unrelated to a criminal case, and criminal charges are not necessary to have a successful civil case. If the driver in this case ran the stop sign due to problems with vehicle maintenance, the company itself might be held responsible even if the driver is not. Both the driver and the company might be named in the suit.
Source: KFSN, "Triple fatal crash near the Fresno County town of Caruthers ", Rick Montanez, August 28, 2014