A California couple was traveling with their two children when a sudden collision occurred. The man behind the wheel of the car that hit them head-on is now facing criminal charges. Car accidents resulting in fatality, as this one did, are always tragic, and when children are involved, it intensifies the grief.
Bystanders pulled 2 children from the wreckage
In this case, the children, ages 3 years and 7 months, were left orphaned when both of their parents suffered fatal injuries in the head-on crash. Bystanders were able to extricate the children from the vehicle. Police say the other driver’s blood alcohol content level was nearly twice the legal limit. He also happens to have a past DUI conviction on his record. In this state, that enables prosecutors to charge him with murder in this case, which is exactly what they have done.
The defendant has entered a plea
The charges filed against the man also include gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunk driving causing great bodily injury. The defendant was recently arraigned in a virtual court hearing. Relatives who now have custody of the children attended the hearing as well. The man deemed responsible for the death of the children’s parents has entered a not guilty plea in response to the charges against him.
Legal guardians may act on behalf of minors in court
In addition to criminal charges, cases like this often prompt civil litigation as well. If a fatality occurs, an immediate family member may file a wrongful death claim in a civil court to seek financial recovery for his or her losses. In cases where children have been orphaned, a legal guardian may act on the minors’ behalf to file a claim. A plaintiff may cite the fact that criminal charges have been filed to help substantiate a civil claim.