On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Friday, January 18, 2013.
At least a dozen people witnessed a Ford Explorer swerve into a Highway 65 parking lot near Grand Junction. The SUV slammed into a parked car and two pedestrians, who died instantly. Colorado State Patrol investigators have not decided yet whether the 21-year-old driver or someone else caused the pedestrian accident.
Trooper reports say the SUV was headed northbound as another vehicle, a Subaru Legacy, was travelling and then stopped southbound. The Subaru briefly pulled to the side of the road, not far from the site of the fatal pedestrian accident — a parking lot favored by Grand Mesa cross-country skiers.
The Subaru driver apparently waited as other vehicles passed by before trying to execute a left turn. Perhaps to avoid hitting the Legacy, the Cedaredge man driving the Ford Explorer swung toward the parking area and lost control. Police said the SUV driver was not impaired or speeding at the time of the midday crash.
An accident reconstruction team is expected to spend several hours at the crash site. Troopers also are interviewing up to 15 people who witnessed the deadly auto-pedestrian collision. Authorities did not release identifying information or other details about the man and woman who died in the parking lot.
Personal injury and wrongful death civil actions are independent of criminal cases. Civil trial juries determine whether defendants are negligent before granting largely economic awards to plaintiffs.
Negligence may or may not be a purposeful act. A driver who has no intention of harm could be negligent if a court agrees the defendant breached a “duty of care” – the responsibility one person or party has toward another to act reasonably.
Two drivers might be defendants should the Colorado pedestrian deaths result in wrongful death complaints filed by the victims’ families. A court could find negligence originated solely with either the Subaru or SUV driver or assign percentages of blame for both.
Source: nbc11news.com, “UPDATE: Fatal accident on the Grand Mesa,” Jan. 6, 2013