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Wrong-Way Driving Results in Fatal Head-On Collision

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

A three-vehicle collision in the early morning hours of April 22 resulted in the death of four individuals and the injury of another. A Toyota Prius was driving in the wrong direction in the westbound lanes of Highway 50 in Sacramento County, California. The Prius collided head-on with a pickup truck in the westbound lanes, causing the pickup truck to spin. A third vehicle then hit the truck, causing it to catch on fire.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a call came in about 2:30 a.m. that a Prius had apparently been traveling the wrong direction in the westbound lanes for several miles. The driver of the Prius and all three occupants of the pickup truck were pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the third vehicle suffered minor injuries.

The county coroner identified the driver of the Prius the day after the accident. CHP is reportedly investigating whether the use of alcohol or drugs contributed to the fatal crash.

When an individual is killed as the result of harmful acts or conduct of another individual, relatives of the deceased may be able to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. California, like other states, specifies which relatives or dependents are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit may include burial costs, final medical expenses, loss of future income and financial support for family members, and the loss of community, moral support and guidance. California law does not allow an award of damages for mental anguish or pain and suffering in a wrongful death case. An individual whose relative has been killed as a result of the conduct of a third party may choose to consult an attorney with experience in this area. The attorney may be able to advise the individual regarding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and the damages that may be awarded if the suit is successful.

Source: Capital Public Radio, "Authorities Release ID of Driver Involved in Fatal Wrong-Way Crash On Highway 50," April 22, 2015