A coughing attack is blamed for a California accident that left one man dead and five injured on April 17. The driver of the big rig that went off the 210 freeway down an embankment and hit several other vehicles below says the attack caused him to lose control. Authorities have said they do not think reckless or drunk driving were a factor in the accident. The accident happened shortly after 6:30 a.m. in Pacoima.
According to reports, an SUV and another vehicle were waiting at the off-ramp that the big rig careened onto. After hitting both vehicles and thrusting them into the intersection, the big rig broadsided a pickup and smashed it into a dump truck.
The 32-year-old driver of the pickup was killed. A passenger in the pickup was hospitalized along with three other people, all in critical condition, while a fifth person suffered only minor injuries. Witnesses tried unsuccessfully to free the people inside the pickup, and workers were unable to retrieve the body until much later in the day.
The family of a person who is killed in a car accident like this one may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for the accident. In addition to funeral and burial expenses that they are forced to incur, surviving family members may suffer from the loss of the decedent's income. If another driver is found to have caused accident, factors such as the decedent's earning power over time may be considered when determining an award for compensation. The negligent driver may be found responsible in the civil lawsuit even if no criminal charges were filed.
Source: KTLA 5, "1 dead, 5 injured after big rig crashes into vehicles in San Fernando valley," Ashley Soley-Cerro, Erin Myers and Melissa Palmer, April 17, 2015