California Highway Patrol reported that a driver was handed charges for murder and DUI causing injury resulting from a fatal accident that occurred on April 9. The one-car accident took place north of Ventura while the driver and one passenger were using a southbound onramp to enter Highway 33 at Casitas Vista Road.

A report about the crash came in at around 11:30 p.m. According to investigators, a 32-year-old man driving a gray Honda Accord drifted off of the onramp and collided with a palm tree. Afterwards, the vehicle burst into flames, and the 28-year-old passenger who was trapped inside of the car was burned to death. The driver managed to escape from the vehicle safely, and it is unclear if he sustained any injuries. There have been no reports about whether the deceased man’s family is considering the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit.

From approximately 12:20 a.m. until 4:20 a.m., authorities shut down the onramp where the accident occurred. Members of the Ventura County Fire Department responded to the accident scene. Although the accident is still being investigated, authorities have confirmed that they believe alcohol was a contributing factor.

A person who is injured because of the actions of a drunk driver has the right to pursue a claim for damages. When the victim in a drunk driving accident dies, the right to claim damages is transferred to the victim’s surviving family members. A deceased car accident victim’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party to seek damages for the losses resulting from the death.

Source: Ventura County Star, “Driver in fatal crash on Highway 33 north of Ventura accused of DUI,” April 10, 2015