Investigators from the California Highway Patrol are trying to figure out what caused the 70-year-old driver of a Toyota Tundra to cross the center line on Highway 41. His truck went into oncoming traffic near Avenue 12 and hit a Toyota Corolla head on.

Rescue workers in Madera County responded to the car accident. Within the Toyota Corolla, a 19-year-old female passenger needed to be cut free of the wreck. She had major injuries. The 48-year-old woman driving the car also suffered serious injuries. The 13-year-old girl riding in the backseat of the car died. School districts for both Woodland Elementary and Mariposa County High School made grief counselors available to comfort students that were friends of the young women hurt and killed in the accident.

The driver of the Toyota truck and his passenger only had minor injuries after the crash. Authorities said that alcohol had been ruled out as a cause of the accident.

When car accidents suddenly take someone’s life, the surviving family members sometimes believe the circumstances warrant making a wrongful death claim. In a situation like this, if a driver’s negligent action caused the crash, then the driver or his or her insurance company could be held responsible for damages. An attorney could explain the types of compensation grieving survivors can claim. Funeral expenses are typically sought as well as lost income. An attorney might also be able to help a survivor determine if the evidence from an accident could support a lawsuit. If it does, then an attorney could assist in negotiating an insurance settlement or preparing a case for court.

Source: KFSN, “Teen girl killed in Madera County head-on crash identified,” March 16, 2015