A serious crash has claimed the life of one person and sent two others to local hospitals, according to local sources. California Highway Patrol reports the fatal accident led to the death of a 20-year-old woman who was a passenger in the single vehicle involved in the crash. Police have not yet filed charges against the driver, but their investigation is ongoing.
The accident report states that at approximately 1:10 a.m. on Oct. 8, a 24-year-old man was driving northbound near State Route 223 when, for reasons unknown, he lost control of his vehicle. The car veered left and struck a concrete center divide. When the man attempted to regain control of the vehicle, he veered sharply right, causing the car to leave the road and strike a tree stump.
The driver and his 21-year-old male passenger were both hurt in the accident and were taken to a local medical center for treatment. Their statuses are unknown at this time. A 20-year-old female passenger was reportedly not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead of her injuries. Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, but their investigation continues.
Even if the driver was not intoxicated at the time of the fatal accident, California police could still find reason to charge him with a crime. Whether or not he is charged criminally, however, has no bearing on the ability of the injured passenger and the family of the deceased woman to file civil suits against him. Personal injury and wrongful death suits must be supported by police evidence that the driver contributed materially to the accident.
Source: turnto23.com, “Car crash in South Bakersfield leaves one dead, two others injured“, Zuriel Loving, Oct. 10, 2016