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Airman facing military justice for serious auto accident

A single vehicle accident left one airman dead and another two injured. While the driver of the vehicle is being prosecuted for actions that allegedly led to the wreck, the proceedings are being handled by the military justice system and not California officials. However, this does not preclude a victim or his or her family from seeking justice for damages related to a serious auto accident.

Authorities believe that the driver was traveling at an exceptionally high speed at the time of the incident. Although it is unclear exactly why the vehicle began to drift off the side of the road, it is believed that the car's excessive speed may have played a role in the accident. After leaving the road, the car then barreled down the side of an embankment and flipped, injuring all three airmen in the vehicle.

Unfortunately, the front seat passenger suffered fatal injuries, and authorities determined that he died at the site of the accident. The other passenger, as well as the driver, survived their injuries, but the driver is now facing possible penalties from the Air Force. The wreck occurred on a highway that is technically on base property although civilians have access to it, which meant that both California authorities and the military had jurisdiction over the case.

While the airman faces potential serious penalties depending on the outcome of his military trial, the injured victim, as well as the family of the deceased, still retain the right to pursue civil actions against the driver. When the driver of a vehicle acts negligently in such a way that causes serious harm or even death to passengers or other motorists on the road, successfully litigated personal injury or wrongful death claims are often one of the most appropriate courses of action to take. Damages related to a serious auto accident, such as medical bills or funeral expenses, can be rightfully compensated, giving some victims a sense of peace and justice.

Source:, "Air Force To Handle Prosecution Related to Fatal 2014 Crash on Highway 1", Janene Scully, Jan. 11, 2015

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