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Police say wrong-way car accident killed driver, 3 others

A devastating wrong-way accident left four people dead is still under investigation as California authorities try to determine what factors might have influenced the wreck. The driver that allegedly caused the car accident was one of the victims. The other three victims were all in the same vehicle at the time of accident.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., the driver of a small motor vehicle was headed eastbound in the west lanes of the highway. Authorities had already spotted the wrong-way vehicle and planned to intervene, but tragedy struck before they could carry out their plan. The smaller vehicle collided with an oncoming pickup truck and sent it veering out of its lane, causing it to be hit a second time by another car. According to police who witnessed the crash, the second collision caused the pickup to catch fire.

Emergency responders determined that all three men in the pickup truck died while still at the site of the accident. At least two of the pickup truck passengers suffered serious burns prior to their death. The wrong-way driver was also killed, and police were unable to locate a valid driver's license for her with the California DMV. Those who were familiar with the driver insisted that the young woman was an exceptionally responsible person.

Unfortunately, no matter how responsible or respectful a person might be, he or she can still perform a negligent or unfortunate act that results in tragedy. While it is still unclear exactly why this driver was in the wrong lane at the time of the car accident, police hope to confirm contributing factors -- including potential intoxication -- by the conclusion of the investigation. Although families of the deceased do not have to wait for authorities to wrap up their accident investigation to file a wrongful death claim, the evidence disclosed in an official investigative report may be of use to  grieving families while pursuing financial recourse for a loved one's unexpected death.

Source: sacbee.com, "Coroner identifies all four killed in wrong-way Highway 50 crash", Marissa Lang, April 23, 2015

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