A severe crash has claimed four lives and sent a further four people to the hospital, according to local authorities. California Highway Patrol has confirmed its officers are investigating the fatal accident as a potential hit-and-run, as the driver reported possibly being clipped by another vehicle. The investigation is ongoing at this time.
The accident report says all eight individuals were riding in an SUV after a night out to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of two of the passengers. While traveling eastbound on the 60 Freeway, the 24-year-old driver reportedly lost control of her vehicle, possibly as a result of an incidental collision. The SUV left the freeway and rolled down an embankment, ejecting six of the eight individuals in the vehicle.
Four people were reported dead at the scene of the crash, while a further four were rushed to local hospitals with injuries described as moderate to severe. The age of the passengers involved apparently ranged from 21 to 49, causing CHP officials to call this crash a tragedy. They do not believe the driver of the SUV was intoxicated or driving recklessly at the time of the crash.
California officials will still have to conduct an investigation into whether another vehicle was involved in the fatal accident. If this turns out to be the case, the families of the deceased and those surviving with injuries may be entitled to file personal injury and/or wrongful death suits against that driver, if police determine he or she contributed materially to the crash. If not, the onus may fall on the SUV driver, who would then be subject to the same potential lawsuits.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, “Night Out Ends in Tragedy as 4 Killed, 4 Hurt in Crash“, Jessica Rice and Patrick Healy, Oct. 15, 2016