One of the most difficult parts of losing a loved one in a car accident is the shock upon hearing the news. The death of any close friend or relative is heartbreaking, no matter how it happens, but when we don't see it coming, the news hits us like a ton of bricks. There is no time to say goodbye or tell the person how we feel, and that regret can build up and make the healing process all the more difficult.
Of course, for the victim there is usually no time to prepare, either. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tell us that car accidents remain a leading cause of death, yet we rarely consider the possibility of being killed in a car accident before getting behind the wheel or into the passenger seat of another person's car. We simply assume that we'll get to our destination safely.
Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. The family and friends of a 47-year-old Santa Clara, California, man are dealing with that reality after he was killed in a car accident on Interstate 80 late last month. The man was one of four passengers in an SUV that was traveling west on I-80 when the driver suddenly lost control of the wheel and swerved into oncoming traffic. A driver heading east tried to avoid the SUV when it entered her lane, but the two vehicles collided. The SUV then hit the median and rolled over. The Santa Clara man was ejected and the SUV came to rest on top of him. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the others in the SUV were taken to a hospital for minor injuries.
An investigation of the crash should determine what caused the SUV driver to lose control. If she was shown to be negligent in her operation of the vehicle, the family of the victim could decide to file a civil lawsuit demanding compensation from the driver. It won't reverse the damage or the shock they likely felt immediately after his death, but it could make recovering financially from the expenses that come after the death of a loved one easier to bear.
Source: KGO-TV, "Victim of fatal I-80 crash ID'd as Santa Clara man," Jan. 28, 2013
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