A bizarre fatal accident story this week from California shows one of the more unlikely ways in which drivers can harm others. As one Los Angeles man was speeding down the highway, he crashed into an electrical pole and a fire hydrant. The pool of water thus became electrified and killed two Good Samaritans who had stopped to help the victim.
Official reports show the two women died as they rushed to provide aid. The first victim had called for emergency responders on her cell phone, rushing into the electrified pool of water shortly after the 911 call. When she became injured, another woman rushed in after her, and both of the women became incapacitated. One of the women’s husbands was able to pull his wife from the water, but, by that time, it was too late.
Other local residents said they, too, heard the commotion caused by the crash, but the dangerous noises caused them to wait by the side of the road until qualified responders arrived.
The case is still in the preliminary hearing stage, but a judge has decided the 20-year-old driver should be charged with vehicular manslaughter. The deputy district attorney in the case called the driver negligent and said he acted carelessly, which ultimately led to the two women’s deaths. The man was, in fact, driving straight in a left-hand turn lane, a decision that clearly violated the law.
In addition, witnesses said the man was traveling more than 15 miles per hour faster than the posted speed limit. He admitted to officers he had become frustrated with the slow traffic.
The victims’ families, in this case, should consider seeking financial damages from the driver even if he is not brought up on criminal charges. The driver could be responsible for wrongful death claims, along with pain and suffering, loss of consort and a variety of other complaints. The victims’ families would be wise to consult the services of a qualified attorney.