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SUV hits bicycle and tree in California, killing 3

In the afternoon on Oct. 23, the driver of a southbound SUV on Howe Avenue in Sacramento veered into the northbound lane, striking a 53-year-old bicyclist before running off the road and hitting a tree near the intersection of Birney Way. According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the SUV was traveling at a speed of at least 50 mph at the time of the crash.

The impact threw the bicyclist about 100 feet, and she died at the scene. Officials also declared the 24-year-old passenger of the SUV dead at the scene. She was not wearing her seat belt at the time of the accident, and she ended up in the back seat as a result. Officials transported the SUV's male driver to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries.

The CHP stated that they found alcohol in the SUV, but they are awaiting the results of a toxicology test on the driver to see if he was under the influence when the accident occurred. They believe that both alcohol and speed were factors in this crash.

In any auto accident resulting in at least one death, the relatives of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim for compensation from the at-fault party. In most cases, the at-fault party is a driver who was negligent in some way that caused the accident. The compensation could include funeral expenses, loss of income and loss of companionship, depending on the situation.

If the at-fault party dies as a result of the accident, the relatives would need to file their claims against the person's estate. An attorney could assist them in preparing the claim and negotiating settlement offers and can even represent them in court.

Source: KXTV, "3 people dead after SUV slams into bicyclist, tree", Siemny Chhuon, October 24, 2014

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