Texas wrongful death claims likely after 4 killed; DUI a factor?

A 24-year-old woman ran into car problems recently in Tarrant County. She pulled her SUV off the road shortly before midnight on a Saturday night in mid June. Little did she know that, in the ensuing minutes, she and three other individuals that came to help her would be the victims of a horrific multi-vehicle pedestrian car accident. As Texas authorities delve into a complex investigation, their findings may be of use in any wrongful death civil claims that are pursued in the aftermath of the tragedy.

As the woman began to inspect her disabled SUV, a mother and daughter living nearby came to help out. A local youth minister returning from a high school graduation party for his son stopped to offer assistance as well. A vehicle apparently then crashed into the SUV. At least four vehicles were involved in the collision, and the focus appears to be on a red pickup that had seven passengers and a 16-year-old driver. Two of the teenage passengers were said to be in critical condition.

Texas authorities are focusing their attention on several factors. First, they are engaged in reconstructing the accident in order to discern exactly what occurred. In addition, a “source investigation” is underway. This type of criminal investigation is typically initiated when alcohol use is suspected, and efforts may be made to learn where any such beverages may have been consumed and — if so — under what conditions.

Clearly, the multi-level investigation in these circumstances is complicated. Potential wrongful death and personal injury claims may be equally as complicated. For the families of the deceased victims, the gathered evidence may be crucial in determining which party or parties to join in a claim for monetary damages. Similarly, those that suffered serious personal injuries may have to decide if a claim for damages is appropriate, and if so, against which parties.

Source: star-telegram.com, “4 killed in crash Saturday night in southern Tarrant County are identified,” Bill Hanna and Bill Miller, June 17, 2013