Police in Fresno believe drugs may have been a factor in a car accident that killed two people on the night of March 4. California officials have confirmed the death of a 23-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman in a head-on fatal car accident on Highway 180. The highway was closed for several hours to facilitate the investigation.

According to preliminary reports, it appears that around 11 p.m. the man may have entered the highway going the wrong way. He was seen by witnesses traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of the highway, whereupon he became involved in a head-on collision with another driver. The force of the impact killed both the driver of the wrong-way vehicle and the driver he struck. Thankfully, no passengers appear to have been involved in the crash. 

Police have said they believe drugs might have been a factor in the accident. This can be taken to mean they think the wrong-way driver was impaired behind the wheel at the time of the crash. While criminal charges are not filed posthumously, it may still be possible for the family of the other driver to pursue legal action. 

California law allows the families of victims of a fatal car accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. Such a claim is directed toward the driver believed responsible, or in this case, the driver’s estate and anyone else with ownership interest in the vehicle. If sufficient evidence of the driver’s negligence regarding the crash can be established, the court could rule to award damages to the grieving family.