Car Accident Takes the Life of 2 Children and 2 Adults

Four untimely deaths, including the deaths of two children, as well as five injuries were the toll when a car and minivan collided recently near Placerville, California on Highway 50. Police investigators said that the car, a Toyota Prius, improperly went over the center line in the two lane highway, resulting in its crash into an oncoming Toyota Sienna minivan. A California Highway Patrol representative described the collision as a "broadside" by the car. The location of the accident is approximately 45 miles to the east of Sacramento, where the highway can be characterized as having minor to moderate curvature.

Three of the car's occupants were killed, including a child, a female passenger, and the 39-year-old male driver. Emergency responders rushed to the scene of the accident, but were unable to save any of these three, all of whom died on the spot. The collision also ended the life of a 4-year-old girl riding in the minivan. She was transported to a nearby hospital, where efforts to preserve her life were unavailing.

The injured were a second child in the car, whose injuries were described as moderate, and four occupants of the mini-van, including two 1-year-old children, a 51-year-old male passenger and the 35-year-old woman driving the vehicle. The injuries of those surviving the crash in the minivan were described as ranging from minor to moderate. 

Officers who arrived at the accident scene assisted the injured, directed traffic on the highway around the accident, and arranged to clear the damaged vehicles from the highway, as well as beginning an investigation and gathering physical evidence and stating statements. 

The investigation into the crash and its possible causes is ongoing, with no indications so far as to what caused the car to violate the center line in the road, risking a collision with oncoming vehicles. The weather at the time of the accident was apparently clear.

One aspect of the accident being looked into is the relative speed each vehicle was traveling at the time of the accident. Modern computer technology contained in both vehicles will enable investigators to accurately pinpoint the speed of each of them, but the process is expected to take some time. The speed limit at the scene of the accident is 65 mph

There were no indication in published news reports concerning the accident whether the use of alcohol or drugs was believed to have played any role in the crash, or whether the driver of the car was distracted by anything at the time his car crossed the center line. A frequent cause of driver distraction which frequently results in serious accidents in California and nationwide is the use of handheld devices and cell phones to make or receive phone calls or text messages.

Despite the death of the driver of the Prius, a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit to recover damages is possible against his estate, with damages awarded to be paid from his personal assets as well as covered by his auto insurance. 

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