Fatal freeway accident: Two people were killed early Sunday when a man fleeing another accident drove the wrong way on Interstate 10 and crashed head-on into another vehicle in Beaumont.
• A hit-and-run driver got on the I-10 freeway going in the wrong direction while he was fleeing from an accident.
• The driver slammed head-on into a pickup truck. The truck burst into flames.
• Both the hit-and-run driver and the pickup truck driver died at the scene. A third person was hospitalized with major injuries.
California Highway Patrol officials said 23-year-old Francisco Hernandez of Highland was fleeing the scene of an accident when he drove a 2012 Toyota TC westbound onto the eastbound lanes of I-10 in Beaumont.
Hernandez crashed into an oncoming 2004 GMC Sierra pickup truck about four-tenths of a mile east of the Brookside Avenue overcrossing.
The pickup truck burst into flames. By the time authorities arrived, the truck was fully engulfed by the blaze, CHP officials said. The driver, who was badly burned, died at the scene. The coroner’s office was attempting to identify him by DNA or dental records, Sgt. Brent Sechrest of the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner’s office told the Banning-Beaumont Patch news site.
Hernandez also died at the scene.
A third person was hospitalized with major injuries. Authorities did not release that victim’s identity. It was not clear which car that person was riding in.
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.