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Wrongful death case possible in fatal accident

Patricia M. Jarzobski

A pedestrian is dead following a car crash on Interstate 76, according to authorities. Colorado police responded to the fatal accident the night of Nov. 19. The driver involved has not been criminally charged as of this report, but it is still possible the family of the deceased victim may file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. 

The details of this accident are still being pieced together by accident reconstruction teams, though it has been confirmed that the victim was a 67-year-old man from Denver. For reasons that have not yet been determined, the man was walking in the roadway in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 76 when the accident occurred. It appears a driver of a sedan struck the man around 6:30 p.m. 

The force of the impact killed the pedestrian. It's unclear whether the man was transported to a hospital or if he was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver involved, who has not been publicly identified by police, stayed on the scene and cooperated with police. Officers say the driver did not suffer any injuries and is not currently being charged with a criminal offense. The investigation remains underway. 

Pedestrians have a responsibility to obey the rules of the road, but the primary onus for road safety in Colorado falls on drivers. Even if the driver involved in this car accident is not criminally charged, it is possible for the family of the deceased man to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. These suits still require evidence that the driver was negligent in a manner that materially contributed to the accident, but a criminal charge or conviction is not required for a civil court to award damages to the family. 

Source: kdvr.com, "Interstate 76 reopens after pedestrian killed by vehicle", Nov. 19, 2017

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