Fatal SUV rollover crash: A driver died and his passengers were seriously injured Saturday night when an SUV rolled over the edge of Highway 259 in San Bernardino.
• A Jeep Cherokee hit a curb on the freeway, rolled over, and plummeted down a steep embankment onto a street below.
• The driver was thrown from the car and died.
• An adult passenger suffered major injuries and a 3-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries.
Calilfornia Highway Patrol investigators said 26-year-old David Alex Trujillo of Colton was driving a 1993 Jeep Cherokee southbound on Highway 259 near Highland Avenue at the time of the wreck.
For unknown reasons, the Jeep veered to the right and hit a side curb. That caused the vehicle to roll over and crash into a guard rail. Then it tumbled of of the freeway and down a steep embankment, the CHP report stated. The vehicle landed on I Street, near 21st Street.
Trujillo was ejected from the vehicle. He died at the scene.
A passenger who was riding in the front seat of the Jeep, 21-year-old Frankie J. Ruiz of Colton, suffered major injuries. No information about his condition was available.
Another passenger, a 3-year-old boy from Rialto, was riding in the back seat. He suffered minor injuries. His relationship to the other two occupants of the vehicle was not immediately known.
What happens when the driver who is at fault dies in the accident?
In this case, the CHP has not yet determined what caused the accident. Even it it does turn out to be the fault of the driver who suffered fatal injuries, what happens to the passengers who were seriously injured in the accident? Can they still make a claim, even though the at-fault driver died in the accident?
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.
San Bernardino Car Accident Lawyers
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