Another drunk driving accident has claimed the lives of three victims in the San Francisco area. According to prosecutors, the accident occurred when a Sunnyvale man was drunk and driving at high speeds from the site of a minor fender bender. While fleeing from the scene, the drunk driver struck and killed a mother and her two sons.

The accident reportedly occurred after the Sunnyvale man spent “several hours” drinking alcohol at a local restaurant. When driving away from the establishment, he rear ended a car and sped around it in order to get away from the scene of the accident. No one was injured in the first minor crash. The driver’s BMW subsequently broadsided a small Toyota while traveling at 60 mph. The collision killed a 50-year-old mother and her two sons. It also injured her older son’s girlfriend. The 20-year-old woman was seriously injured in the accident and hospitalized. It is not currently known whether the facts surrounding the accident may lead to a wrongful death or personal injury claim in addition to criminal charges.

The driver has since been charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, among other charges. A repeat offender, he was on probation for a misdemeanor drunk driving conviction at the time of the fatal accident. Several hours after the car crash, a test showed the 28-year-old driver had a blood alcohol level of .18. This is more than twice the legal limit in California.

As in this case, drunk driving accidents unfortunately all too often result in serious injuries or deaths. The surviving family members of victims are not without recovery on behalf of their lost loved ones, however. The facts of many drunk driving cases may allow family members to file a civil wrongful death claim in addition to criminal charges filed by authorities. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in recovering compensation on behalf of the victim.

Source: Contra Costa Times, “Sunnyvale man drunk during triple-fatal Daly City crash, DA says,” Joshua Melvin, Mar. 13, 2013