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Lyft driver killed in fatal accident in California

A driver for the popular ride-sharing service Lyft was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident in the early morning of Oct. 1. California police responded to the fatal accident that claimed the life of a 41-year-old man. Police have apprehended the driver and an adult passenger they believe to be responsible for the crash, but it is unclear whether either individual has yet been formally charged with a crime. 

The accident report confirms that the Lyft driver had stopped his vehicle on the right-hand shoulder of Highway 94 after one of his three passengers became ill. The man had exited the vehicle to provide assistance when another vehicle rear-ended the stopped car with deadly force. The car then left the road and stopped on an embankment, where the driver and passenger abandoned it to flee on foot. 

The 41-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. His three passengers were transported to local hospitals as a precautionary measure, and the extent of their injuries is not yet known. The driver and passenger of the offending vehicle were rapidly apprehended thanks to the help of San Diego Police's ABLE helicopter. The driver will likely face charges for leaving the scene of a fatal accident. 

Even if California authorities choose not to file formal charges against the driver involved in the fatal accident, the family of the deceased driver and his surviving passengers are entitled under state law to file civil suits against that individual. Wrongful death and personal injury suits are handled in civil court, and do not require criminal charges to be filed or convictions to be won. However, evidence of negligence or recklessness on the part of the offending driver is required if the court is to award damages. 

Source: NBC San Diego, "Lyft Driver Killed in Hit-and-Run on Highway 94 ID'd", Brie Stimson, Oct. 1, 2016

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