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Wrongful death claim possible in Colorado accident

Patricia M. Jarzobski

An 18-year-old driver is facing serious charges following a car accident that claimed the life of another teen, according to local sources. The Colorado State Patrol said the driver suffered only minor injuries in the car crash that killed a 16-year-old boy. He faces charges of drunk driving, as well as vehicular homicide, and state law allows the family of the deceased teen to file a wrongful death lawsuit as well. 

According to the limited information in the report, it appears that around 11:45 p.m. the night of May 3, the vehicle driven by the 18-year-old apparently went out of control, leaving County Road 102 and striking a large rock. This caused the car to roll over onto its roof, ejecting two of the occupants who were not wearing seat belts. The 16-year-old was one of the two who were thrown from the vehicle, and he was killed on site. The other occupant suffered serious injuries and was rushed to a local hospital. 

Three occupants, including the driver, were wearing seat belts and therefore suffered minor injuries. The driver now faces charges including drunk driving, third-degree assault, reckless driving, and drug possession. It is unclear whether he is currently in police custody. 

Depending on the outcome of the criminal trial, the driver may face jail time for his role in the car accident. In addition, the family of the deceased passenger is entitled under Colorado law to file a wrongful death suit against him and anyone else with ownership interest in the vehicle. The injured parties may also choose to file personal injury suits in civil court as it pertains to this accident. 

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