Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

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Suspected drunk driving accident leaves 4 injured, 4 dead

A head-on collision on a California roadway left four people dead and four others injured on the evening of March 1. According to an officer with the California Highway Patrol, at approximately 8 p.m., a black Mercedes-Benz sedan crossed into the wrong traffic lane on a road in Santa Cruz County and crashed with an oncoming pickup truck.

There were seven people in the sedan at the time of the collision. None of them were wearing seatbelts. The driver, a 22-year-old Watsonville man, and three passengers, an 18-year-old Soquel woman, a 18-year-old Watsonville man and a 16-year-old girl, were killed.

The other three occupants of the sedan and the driver of the pickup, a 56-year-old man, were hospitalized with major injuries. Firefighters had to dismantle parts of the Mercedes to reach passengers who were trapped inside. One of the vehicles was overturned in the crash, which forced the road to close.

Witnesses reported that the sedan had been swerving, and there was evidence at the scene indicating the crash may have been related to alcohol. The CHP officer said it seemed like there may have been a party going on in the car, and he added that the risk of being involved in a crash increases if the car has a large number of passengers. He called it an unfortunate situation involving alcohol use and unrestrained occupants.

In a case where a person is killed in an alcohol-related car accident, it may be possible to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of his or her estate. Where there are a large number of people injured in a single crash, negotiating medical expenses and insurance settlements may be complicated. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to help injured parties recover lost wages or other damages by negotiating on their behalf, or by preparing a case to pursue recovery in civil court.

Source: abc NEWS, "4 people killed, 4 others injured in California car crash," March 2, 2015

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