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Car accidents: Fatal crash blamed on deceased driver

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Police were on the scene following a serious accident in Thornton. Colorado authorities responded to the four-vehicle crash on the afternoon of Sept. 14. As with most car accidents, local and state police are conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash. 

Witnesses say they heard a loud bang and saw a vehicle crash through a fence. The accident was severe enough to cause serious delays for commuters in afternoon traffic. The injured person, a woman who was driving one of the vehicles involved, suffered injuries described as "severe" and was rushed to a local hospital. Medical personnel on the scene also tried to save the life of a second driver, an unidentified man, who was also rushed to a hospital in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead. 

Police are not speaking openly about their ongoing investigation, and have not released the identities of the drivers involved at this time. However, they have said they believe the deceased driver may have been responsible for causing the accident. They have not given details as to whether they believe the driver was reckless, negligent or intoxicated, but more information will likely become available soon. 

In car accidents with an unknown cause, obviously a thorough investigation is necessary to determine how and why the accident occurred, and whether one or more drivers contributed materially to that accident. If, in this case, Colorado authorities determine the deceased driver to be at fault, the injured woman may choose to use that evidence to support a personal injury claim against the driver's estate. Such claims are handled in civil court and require proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the negligence of the defendant caused or materially contributed to the accident and injuries suffered by the plaintiff. 

Source: kdvr.com, "Thornton police: Deceased driver at fault in multivehicle crash", Michael Konopasek, Sept. 14, 2017

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