UNION TRIBUNE reporter Pauline Repard reports that two woman 19-year-old Elizabeth Belete and 21-year-old Cassandra Robinson were killed and another critically injured in an auto accident on October 9, 2010 at around 7 p.m. in the City Heights area. The accident happened on state Route 15, on the southbound transition lanes to I-805, resulting in both vehicles flying off the freeway. CHP officers said two woman were ejected from one vehicle, and were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Three people in the other vehicle were trapped for some time. One of them was seriously injured, but the two others were reported to have left the scene before police arrived. CHP officers said “We are treating this like a crime scene.”
Applicable California Law
The two people who left the scene could face criminal charges for felony hit and run (see my prior Blog post for the law on hit and run). Because the incident is still under investigation, it is not clear who is at fault. However, regardless of who caused the accident, they will be liable for the wrongful death of the people who died at the scene (see my prior Blog post for the law on wrongful death). In addition, they would be responsible for the personal injury and property damage sustained by the others involved in the accident. The heirs of the deceased could also have potential products liability claims against the manufacturer and distributer of the vehicle occupied by the ones ejected (see my prior Blog post on the law on products liability).
A beautiful Saturday night in San Diego turns into tragedy. Figuring out who is responsible can be complicated as two are now dead and another critically injured. Auto accidents resulting in wrongful death, brain injuries, or serious spine injuries can change the lives of those injured and their families. Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney before speaking with any insurance company is critical.