Losing a loved one at any time is difficult to deal with. But losing a child suddenly and unexpectedly can be devastating for parents. Sadly, this is exactly what happened almost two weeks ago when a tragic car accident occurred in Placer County.
The two girls, 13 and 17, were passengers in an SUV when the accident occurred. The driver, a 17-year-old with just a provisional license, may have been speeding on the winding Auburn-Folsom Road when he lost control of the car. After hitting a guardrail, the car drove over it, crashed into a fence and eventually rolled over onto its side.
There were five people in the car when it crashed. The two girls who died were partially ejected from the vehicle. Neither was wearing a seat belt because there were not enough in the back seat. They were both students at local high schools -- the older at Oro High School and the younger at Newcastle.
While we don't know yet if the driver will face charges, we do know that he was illegally transporting passengers. Drivers who have a provisional license are not allowed, under California law, to transport passengers younger than 20. This rule is in place to minimize distractions that could lead to accidents for first-year drivers.
The fact that this driver was transporting young people illegally could be a factor in a wrongful death lawsuit should the parents of the two girls who died choose to file one. While it may be difficult to think of taking legal action while mourning the loss of a loved one, some families find that holding a negligent driver accountable helps them find closure and a sense of justice. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help a family decide the best approach to their situation.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Pair of teen passengers mourned," Ed Fletcher and Tony Bizjak, Feb. 5, 2013