Six people are dead following a serious crash on a northern California highway, according to local reports. California Highway Patrol responded to the fatal car accident that claimed the lives of everyone involved in the two-car crash. Police are still investigating to determine whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, which they say was initiated by a wrong-way driver. 

According to the accident report, CHP responded to an emergency call around 12:30 a.m. on the early morning of Jan. 7 about a southbound vehicle in the north lanes of Interstate 5 outside of Woodland. The sole occupant of the wrong-way vehicle, a female driver who has not been identified, crashed headlong into a northbound vehicle carrying five occupants. The impact set both vehicles on fire. 

The wrong-way driver as well as everyone in the other vehicle, including two women and three men, were all killed on impact. The other victims have also not been identified by police at this time. Officers believe the wrong-way driver may have been intoxicated, but posthumous testing has yet to come back from toxicology to confirm this supposition. 

When a fatal car accident kills the driver materially responsible for the crash as well as anyone else, no criminal charges are filed. However, California law does allow the families of the deceased victims to sue the driver’s estate for wrongful death in civil court. Evidence of her material contribution to the crash is necessary for damages to be awarded, and the families will have access to any and all pertinent evidence of this type gathered by police.

Source: mercurynews.com, “6 dead after wrong-way crash on Northern California highway,” Jan. 7, 2018