A wrong way, head-on crash on Interstate 80 northeast of Sacramento has claimed the lives of three people.
The California Highway Patrol stated that the three victims, Kendra Langham, 18, Mathew Beard-Witt, 18, and Matthew Azar, 20, were driving east on Interstate 80 with Azar driving. At about 2:10 a.m. west of Madison Avenue, their vehicle was struck head-on by another car. The driver of the other car, Aaron Jordon Caudillo, 24, was heading west in the eastbound lanes. The police have yet to state what his speed was at the time of the crash. Caudillo survived the accident and was taken to the hospital. He is currently in critical condition. Police reported that all three victims and Caudillo were wearing seatbelts.
The California Highway Patrol has confirmed that Caudillo was intoxicated at the time of the accident, causing him to drive on the wrong side of the highway. The crash is still under investigation.
The three victims lived in nearby Granite Bay. Two of them, Beard-Witt and Langham, worked at the local Taco Bell. Their co-workers are in disbelief about the accident. According to manager Nancy Fernandez, Langham “didn’t deserve that. She had her whole life ahead of her.”
Robert Fohl, a friend of the victims, said that he had been with them at a rave club in midtown Sacramento on Saturday night before the accident. He left five or ten minutes after them and passed the scene of the accident, not realizing it was his friend’s vehicle. He state that it is “hard to make sense of this. They were so young and full of life.”
Several fundraisers, including a Go-Fund-Me account for Langham’s funeral, are available for those who wish to help the victims’ families. In a statement, the owner of the Taco Bell in Granite Bay where two of the victims worked says he is making a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving in their memory.
What Is Wrongful Death?
When a loved one dies unexpectedly, it can take an emotional and financial toll on the family. When a family member is killed in an accident that was caused by someone else, the law provides a way for family members to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered. This type of civil action is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
The types of damages one can recover in a wrongful death suit vary from state to state. However, they generally fall into two main categories:
- The recovery of damages experienced by the deceased family member from the moment of the accident until death. This can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and funeral and burial expenses
- The recovery of losses experienced by the next of kin after the victim’s death. This can include the amount of money that the family member would have earned, including their retirement. Some states also allow for loss of companionship, compensating loved ones, such as a spouse or children, for the emotional loss of the family member in their lives
Wrongful death damages are generally awarded to spouses, minor children and parents of a minor child. Sometimes a parent of an adult child or an adult child of a deceased parent can seek and win a wrongful death suit, as well.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
When a loved one is killed in an accident that was the fault of another, their remaining family members or estate can seek compensation for damages. If someone else’s negligent behavior lead to the death of a loved one, it is imperative that you speak with a personal injury attorney. We can help you build and fight for your wrongful death suit, including negotiating a settlement or representing you in court. When you are faced with the tragic loss of a loved one who was killed due to another’s negligence, seek help from a personal injury attorney today.