Three women are dead following a serious two-vehicle accident in Santa Maria, according to local sources. California authorities have confirmed the deaths, which included a mother and daughter from out of state. A fourth person has been hospitalized, and the other driver is suspected of being under the influence. Charges may yet be forthcoming in this motor vehicle accident case.
Details of the accident are still being clarified by reconstruction teams, but it has been confirmed that two vehicles were involved in the accident, which took place at an intersection late in the evening of July 6. It appears that the four victims -- all women of Filipino descent -- were traveling in an SUV when it was struck by a sedan. The driver of the second vehicle has not been publicly identified at this time.
The force of the impact killed all three passengers, including one woman from Seattle, and a mother and daughter from Texas. The driver of the SUV is currently recovering from the injuries she suffered in the crash. The condition of the other driver is unknown, but police have reason to believe that either alcohol or drugs may have been a catalyst for the accident.
In the event the other driver is found to have been intoxicated at the time of the motor vehicle accident, that individual could face serious criminal charges in a California court. Separately, the families of the deceased and the surviving injured driver are also entitled to file civil suits against the driver for wrongful death and personal injury, respectively. Any evidence used in criminal court to prove a DUI can also be used to support a case for monetary damages to be awarded to the complainants in civil court.