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Fatal car accident leaves 1 dead in California

A crash in Holtville has resulted in one fatality, according to information announced by police. The California Highway Patrol is currently documenting how the fatal car accident occurred. So far, they have not filed charges against the driver involved in the accident, but their investigation is still underway at this time. 

According to preliminary reports, it appears an 87-year-old woman was traveling eastbound on the night of Dec. 6 when the accident occurred. Police believe she was traveling at approximately 55 to 60 mph, though it is unclear whether this placed her within the speed limit of the road she was traversing. Her vehicle clipped the large tire of a tractor being operated by a 27-year-old man. 

The force of the impact caused the tractor to be pushed onto the shoulder of the highway, onto an inclined dirt shoulder. The vehicle rolled and trapped the 27-year-old under the wheel. He was pronounced dead at the scene by arriving medical personnel. The California Highway Patrol has confirmed that the elderly driver stopped her vehicle to render assistance, and she is not currently facing charges. 

In the case of a fatal car accident, a criminal charge is not always a foregone conclusion. In this case, California authorities may choose not to file criminal charges against the woman involved in the crash. However, state law does allow the man’s family to file a separate wrongful death lawsuit in civil court against the woman. Such a suit would require evidence of negligence that is found to have been a material contribution to the accident on the part of the driver, which can often be obtained through the police investigation prior to the case going to court. 

Source: kyma.com, “One dead following Holtville crash,” Ernesto Romero, Ray Dorantes, Dec. 6, 2017

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