Two people have lost their lives after a vehicle crashed into a building in Hyde Park on the morning of Dec. 16. California authorities were on the scene to try and rescue the two people, believed to be a man and his girlfriend, who were involved in the single motor vehicle accident. So far, police have not determined what caused the accident, and are still investigating as of this report. 

According to the information available at this time, the man driving the car reportedly ran his vehicle into a fire hydrant before smashing through a pole. The vehicle then crashed into an abandoned building that began to collapse due to the impact. Falling debris crushed the car, trapping both the man and the woman believed to be his girlfriend inside the vehicle. 

Attempts to free the occupants failed and they were both declared dead at the scene. The woman was not immediately publicly identified pending notification of next of kin. The local fire department helped to extricate the vehicle from the wreckage of the building. Police say they believe speed may have been a contributing factor to this tragic crash. 

Whatever the reason for the motor vehicle accident, California police do not file criminal charges posthumously, even those drivers who were involved in fatal accidents. Nevertheless, the family of the deceased girlfriend may be entitled to file a wrongful death suit against the driver’s estate and anyone with ownership interest in the car involved in the crash. These suits are civil in nature and, while they do make use of police evidence, do not require charges or convictions for a civil court to award damages to the grieving family.