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Car accidents: Driver pleads guilty to murder

A man believed to have been responsible for causing the deaths of a father and daughter has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the second degree, according to local sources. Colorado authorities have been overseeing the trial of the 20-year-old man, who is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 23. Car accidents rarely result in murder charges, but the particulars of this case may have influenced the charges filed. 

According to the report, back on Thanskgiving 2018, the accused man apparently stole a truck that he used to break into a pawn shop. There, he absconded with two AR-15 rifles and an AK-47 before fleeing the scene. Some time later, the stolen vehicle he was driving was involved in a multi-car crash in Fort Collins. Among those affected by the crash were a 55-year-old man and his 38-year-old daughter, both of whom were killed in the collision. 

The 20-year-old was charged with murder as a result of these two deaths as well as burglary of a firearm. Six further charges were apparently dismissed as the result of a plea bargain. Now that he has pleaded guilty, he will likely face years in prison for his crimes. 

Colorado law will also allow the family of the father and daughter tragically killed in the event to file civil suits against him. Wrongful death lawsuits, particularly as they pertain to car accidents, can be won if sufficient evidence exists that the driver was materially responsible for the deaths. Damages awarded by the court are often used by grieving families to care for dependent surviving family members or to cover final arrangements. 

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