One man is dead and another is in critical condition after a one-car collision in the California residential neighborhood of Woodland Hills on June 27. The driver of the vehicle is suspected of drunk driving and remains in the hospital.

The driver of an older Mercedes was, according to a representative of the Los Angeles Police Department, driving above the 15-25 mph speed limit on Don Pio Drive, a curved stretch of the street, when the Mercedes hit a tree in a resident’s San Fernando Valley front yard at approximately 2:00 a.m. A Canoga Park man, 21, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was killed in the car crash, according to the coroner’s office. The Mercedes driver, who was in the same age range, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated and was said to be in critical condition.

Police said the driver may have been impaired when the crash occurred. The Mercedes also hit a parked vehicle on the street before hitting the tree. The passenger in the Mercedes was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the LAPD.

A driver is obligated to obey the rules of the road and not drink and drive. When they abandon this responsibility, they become accountable for fatal injuries their actions may cause to others. The family of the passenger who died may incur expenses that might be difficult for them to pay such as funeral costs and income the decedent may have contributed to the household. In such situations, an attorney may provide insight into the possibility of filing a wrongful death suit against the driver. The attorney may review accident reports or witness accounts as well as any information that might help them build a case of negligence.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, “Passenger Killed When Car Slams Into Tree in Woodland Hills“, Samia Khan and Toni Guinyard, June 27, 2014