A mother and her four children died while the family’s father tried to save them in what is one of the year’s most tragic accidents caused by another driver. The terrible story unfolds when the 29-year-old mother and her four children ages 1, 3, 6, and 11 were riding in a 2003 Ford Expedition and entered an intersection in Fresno County. They were hit by a woman driving a 2004 Nissan Quest whom California Patrol officers believe ran the stop sign.
Within minutes, the SUV was engulfed in flames. The woman’s husband, who was driving just behind the SUV, tried to free the family by breaking windows but was unable to save them. The driver and all four children in the SUV died at the scene.
Witnesses said that the minivan was traveling at around 60 miles per hour or close to the speed limit for the road and failed to stop at the stop sign. Drugs or alcohol are not considered to be a factor in the crash, although the driver may have been on medication according to her medical history.
DUI—Not Always Alcohol-Related
While “driving under the influence” instantly calls to mind the use of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs can be equally dangerous. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 3.9 percent of all adolescents and adults had reported driving while under the influence of drugs in the past year. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 16 percent of drivers tested on the weekend and at night tested positive for either prescribed or illicit drugs.
Many people make a mental distinction between “legal” and “illegal” drug use, but there is no difference when it comes to how dangerous it is for people to use these drugs while driving. When someone uses drugs of any form, it can impair that person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
What Should I Do If I Am The Victim of a Crash?
If you have been hit by a driver who was under the influence of drugs, even if the medication was prescribed, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your case and learn more about your rights.