An auto and bicycle accident turned fatal for three Sacramento residents on Oct. 23. Authorities from the California Highway Patrol reported that a female bicyclist was killed when a male Chevrolet Tahoe driver collided with her at Howe Avenue and Birney Way. Witnesses reported that the SUV was speeding at a minimum of 50 miles per hour as it suddenly changed from the southbound to the northbound lane of Howe Avenue.
The 53-year-old bicyclist riding against traffic in the northbound lane. She was struck and thrown 100 feet away from her bicycle when the Tahoe driver veered into the same lane. The SUV then caught fire after it struck a nearby tree in Belleview Park.
Both the bicyclist and the 24-year-old female passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities report that the passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, was killed instantly from the impact of being thrown into the rear of the SUV. A civilian responder arrived at the scene of the accident with a fire extinguisher and attempted to pull the driver and his passenger out from the vehicle. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of his serious injuries before he died.
Authorities have not released information on whether the driver of the Tahoe was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Once a cause of action is determined, it may be easier for the families of the deceased victims to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of the driver. An attorney can help prove driver negligence in bicycle accidents, especially if a police investigation shows that the driver was intoxicated or otherwise at fault for not avoiding the bicyclist.
Source: KXTV, "3 people dead after SUV slams into bicyclist, tree", Siemny Chhuon, October 24, 2014
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