Family members of a San Jose woman who was killed in a crash involving an overturned tractor-trailer say she died doing what was most important to her: protecting her children. The car accident could have been more deadly if not for the 49-year-old woman's warning, her children say.
The woman was riding in the front passenger seat of her daughter's car last Thursday morning as they drove north on Interstate 680. It was the morning after her daughter's high school graduation ceremony, and the woman was accompanying her daughter to her high school to pick up her diploma.
But just as they were preparing to get onto the offramp for their exit, a tractor-trailer on the adjacent cloverleaf onramp was heading toward them. The driver's mother saw that the truck was losing its balance and was about to tip over toward their car. She told her daughter to veer left to avoid it, but just as her daughter did so, the trailer toppled over and landed on the passenger side of the car, killing her instantly.
The big-rig driver was seriously injured, but the woman's daughter escaped with only minor injuries. That's not to say she and the rest of her family aren't hurting deeply. Since the woman's death her relatives have come from all over California to grieve with her husband and children.
The California Highway Patrol has said the tractor-trailer driver was going too fast on the ramp, which caused him to lose control. It's not clear whether he'll face any criminal charges in the crash, but the victim's family could elect to file a civil lawsuit against the driver and/or the trucking company. Although her husband and two college-aged daughters will never be able to replace her, the compensation that could come from a wrongful death lawsuit could ease their financial burden as they struggle to continue their lives without her.
Source: Mercury News, "San Jose woman killed in big rig crash remembered for family devotion," Robert Salonga, May 25, 2012
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