Accident investigators are evidence gatherers. Police inspect car accident scenes and talk to witnesses to determine whether laws were broken. Criminal charges and prosecution may follow. Evidence of a crime is not necessary for accident victims and families to request compensation for driver negligence.
An east central Texas crash involving a pair of trucks recently hospitalized five people and killed two others. The fatal auto accident is under investigation by police in College Station.
Brazos County investigators said a truck driven by a Houston woman was broadsided as it entered Saturday night traffic from a driveway. Six people occupied the pickup that was hit.
The 19-year-old driver in the first vehicle was severely injured. She was hospitalized and died the following day. A 20-year-old passenger, a Texas A&M sophomore from Cypress, succumbed to accident injuries less than an hour after the crash.
The remaining four passengers in the first pickup and the driver of the second truck were hospitalized. Police said "several" unidentified victims suffered critical injuries.
Crews will try to recreate what happened to determine whether one of the drivers was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. Did the driver of the first truck miscalculate distance and shoot out into traffic? Was the driver of the second truck distracted or speeding?
Authorities may also examine whether the vehicles were mechanically sound. Tests will reveal whether either driver was impaired.
Evidence will also come from witnesses and surviving victims. Interviews with the passengers and the second truck driver may fill in the blanks.
The survivors of the two-vehicle fatality are incurring tremendous medical costs for treatment of injuries. Recovery may also include an extended loss of wage income. Permanent disability is possible creating a lifetime need for extensive health care.
Criminal prosecution is impossible after the death of a suspect; however, liability lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death damages may be filed against a negligent driver's estate.
Source: kbtx.com, "Two Dead, Five Injured in College Station Accident," March 25, 2013