Two promising lives were cut short when an allegedly impaired driver mowed down two freshman football players at Auburn’s Placer High School. The teens, both 15, were from Auburn and Foresthill.
The tragedy unfolded as the boys and another friend walked along the northbound lane of Highway 49 near Locksley Lane around 5:15 p.m. on April 3. The surviving teen, who was uninjured, told a local news station that they had just finished skateboarding at a local park and were walking to a coffee shop.
That’s when the driver of a white Ford pickup headed south veered into the group on the shoulder of the highway. One young man died at the crash site; the second passed away at the hospital.
According to the spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the pickup truck had just been in another accident right before the double fatality occurred. Allegedly, he sideswiped another car on Dry Creek Road.
CHP officers arrested the pickup’s driver, a 62-year-old resident of Auburn. He was charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs. Placer County courthouse records indicate the man had a prior DUI charge lodged against him. However, there was no information as to the adjudication of the charge.
While conviction on criminal charges can keep dangerous drivers off the roads if they are incarcerated, it is only one avenue toward justice for injured victims and the survivors of the deceased. Filing a civil suit against the negligent party and his or her insurance company can result in a settlement or judgment.