A single-vehicle accident has killed four people, including two children, near San Luis Reservoir. The fatal car accident was confirmed by California Highway Patrol as having occurred on the night of May 26 around 8:30 p.m. The investigation into the accident is still ongoing, but given the driver died in the crash, no criminal charges will be forthcoming in this case. 

The details of this accident are still being confirmed, but police say the vehicle, driven by a 40-year-old man and carrying a 22-year-old woman and two boys aged nine and two, was headed eastbound on Highway 152. For reasons unknown, the vehicle crossed the median into the westbound lanes before skidding across the dirt shoulder and smashing into a tree. The force of the impact ripped the car in half. 

All four people were pronounced dead at the scene. It appears the driver and the two boys were secured by seat belts, with the youngest child in a car seat, but the woman — who was pregnant — was not. The fetus appears to have been lost in the accident as well. Police are still trying to determine whether the driver lost control of the vehicle or whether other factors played a role in the crash. 

Obviously the tragedy of this fatal car accident cannot be overstated. However, California law may allow the families of the deceased woman and children to file suit against the driver’s estate in civil court. While it is possible these individuals were related, this does not preclude families from filing wrongful death suits given the proper evidence of the driver’s material contribution to the crash.