Police suspect that alcohol was a factor in a chain-reaction car accident on Interstate 15 that left a suspected drunk driver dead and seriously injured five others early Sunday morning in Fallbrook.
• A suspected drunk driver was traveling at high speed when he lost control of his Honda Civic and crashed into the center divider of a freeway.
• Three passengers got out of the Honda, but the driver and front-seat passenger were trapped.
• Another car came along and crashed into the Honda, killing the suspected drunk driver on impact. Five other people were hospitalized.
California Highway Patrol officer Jim Bettencourt said a 32-year-old Chula Vista man, whose name was not released, was driving a 2000 Honda Civic southbound on Interstate 15 at the time of the accident. There were four passengers in the vehicle.
The driver veered to the left and crashed into the center divider just south of Mission Road, Bettencourt said. The car spun around and came to a stop facing east in left lane.
The three passengers who were in the back seat managed to escape from the vehicle, but the driver and front-seat passenger were pinned inside. A southbound 1997 Isuzu Rodeo, driven by a 51-year-old Redlands man, crashed into the driver-side door of the Honda, Bettencourt said.
The trapped Honda driver died on impact. The front-seat passenger in the Honda and the driver of the Isuzu both suffered major injuries. The three passengers who had escaped from the wrecked Honda also were injured, but not as severely. All five of the victims were transported to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido to be treated, according to a report in the North County Times.
CHP officers found alcohol containers inside of the Honda and scattered around the scene. Bettencourt said alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the deadly accident.
What happens when the driver who is at fault dies in the accident?
Sometimes in a serious accident the individual who caused the crash suffers fatal injuries. Can the innocent victim still make a claim?
The answer is yes.
The case survives even when the wrongdoer doesn’t. The insurance carrier for the car that the wrongdoer was driving remains liable for damages. If that policy does not have enough coverage, additional compensation may be sought via Underinsured Motorist coverage from the insurance carrier for the vehicle in which the innocent victim was a driver or passenger.
If a lawsuit is necessary, it would be filed against the estate of the wrongdoer. If there is no estate, then the injured party can force an estate to be set up to handle the lawsuit.
Fallbrook Car Accident Lawyers
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented the families of freeway accident victims for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.
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