On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.
A Colorado Springs widow was killed during a head-on crash with a vehicle authorities said was involved in a street race. Police could not question the woman driver whose Mazda reached speeds of 90 mph before the motor vehicle accident. The 25-year-old driver died from crash injuries.
Authorities arrested a man after the fatal nighttime accident. Investigators suspect the high-speed collision took place while the man was racing the Mazda driver. Neither the suspect nor the younger driver was identified in police reports.
People who were close to the older victim said the woman was driving home after having dinner with a friend. The retired woman’s only child was killed in action during the Vietnam War. She grew close to young and old friends after she was widowed in 1980. Even at 84, the woman stayed active in local volunteer efforts.
Investigators were tight-lipped about whether speeding was the only factor in the crash. Reports did not mention any suspicions of drug or alcohol use, texting while driving or other negligent actions. Criminal charges have not been filed.
The woman police said was speeding might have been accused of vehicular homicide had she survived the accident. The offense is a felony punishable by a lengthy prison term. No intent to cause harm is necessary for a Colorado driver to be charged with the crime.
Criminal charges are not necessary for the family of a victim to file a wrongful death claim. Unfortunately, the elderly woman who died had no surviving spouse, children or parents to qualify as plaintiffs in a liability lawsuit. Friends of the victim would have no claim against a negligent defendant.
State laws do include a survival action that allows a plaintiff’s estate to sue for costs like funeral and medical expenses. In this case, the survival action would include representatives of the estates for both the plaintiff and the defendant.
gazette.com, “Close friends identify 84-year-old woman killed in drag racing wreck” Andrea Sinclair, Jun. 27, 2013