The California Highway Patrol reported that a suspected drunk driver was responsible for causing a fatal accident that took place north of Stockton on Oct. 26. The following day, the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased victim as a 59-year-old Lodi resident. Before his death, the man had worked as an architect and taught college courses in architecture and construction.

The fatal car crash took place around 1:50 a.m. while the victim was traveling northbound with two passengers in a sedan. After stopping for a passing train north of Eight Mile Road, the man was rear-ended by an SUV. The collision caused the victim’s car to rotate clockwise and hit a railroad crossing-arm guard on the driver’s side.

As a result of the collision, the sedan driver died at the scene, and his two passengers were treated at area hospitals for injuries ranging from minor to moderate. The passengers were identified as the driver’s 29-year-old daughter and her 29-year-old boyfriend. According to the CHP, the 52-year-old SUV driver is believed to have been driving under the influence of alcohol. He suffered from major injuries during the wreck and was treated at UC Davis Medical Center.

When a person dies in a drunk driving accident, the victim’s surviving family members have the right to file a claim for compensation. Eligible family members may file a wrongful death claim in order to pursue compensation for their loved one’s funeral expenses as well as their own loss of future financial support, among other damages. An attorney may be able to assist a family with this process and ensure that the claim is well-supported with factual evidence.

Source: RecordNet, “Crash takes life of Stockton architect“, Joe Goldeen, October 27, 2014