On Friday morning, Feb. 6, around 8:40 a.m., a traffic accident occurred on Highway 101 just south of Masten Avenue. A woman, who has not yet been identified, was killed when her SUV was struck by a white pickup truck.
The pickup truck allegedly drifted onto the shoulder of the road and then over-corrected and drove into the side of the blue Honda SUV being driven by the unidentified woman. Both vehicles overturned and wound up in the center divider.
The pickup driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The California Highway Patrol does not believe that alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident, but it is continuing the investigation. The CHP is asking that anyone with information about the collision contact them.
In a situation where a life is lost in an accident, remaining family members may want to investigate whether negligence was a factor in the cause. For example, if the pickup driver was texting or talking on a cell phone, driving while fatigued or operating the vehicle in an otherwise unsafe manner, he or she may be liable to the family members of the victim. Conversely, if the road was in poor repair or obstructed with debris, then the city could potentially be responsible for the accident. Family members of the victim could consult with an attorney in order to determine whether to pursue a wrongful death suit. This type of suit is heard in the civil court and is decided on a preponderance of evidence regardless of whether or not a criminal case is pending. Wrongful death suits compensate families for expenses incurred as a result of the accident and for emotional pain and suffering and lost wages as well.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "Gilroy: One killed, one injured in Highway 101 crash," Katie Nelson, Feb. 6, 2015