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Wrongful death suit possible in head-on Colorado crash

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Two people lost their lives during the evening of Aug. 30, according to the Colorado State Patrol. The accident reportedly occurred on state Highway 9 and involved two vehicles. One woman has been taken into custody for alleged drunk driving in this case, and the families of the deceased may be considering filing wrongful death lawsuits in addition to the criminal charges. 

Reportedly, a vehicle headed southbound crossed over the line into the northbound lanes. The southbound driver had been witnessed driving erratically, with one witness saying the driver was "swerving all over the road" just prior to the crash. It appears the driver of the southbound vehicle swerved onto the shoulder before overcorrecting into the northbound lanes. 

The woman's vehicle struck a northbound car head-on, causing that vehicle to flip over multiple times and eject both occupants. Both individuals, who have not been named pending notification of next-of-kin, were pronounced dead at the scene. The at-fault driver suffered only minor injuries, but police on the scene suspected she may have been intoxicated behind the wheel. The vehicular crimes team was on the scene to investigate the crash, and their investigation is still underway. 

If Colorado authorities gather evidence that suggests the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, she could face criminal charges for her role in the two deaths caused by the crash. Separately, the families of the deceased parties are entitled under state law to file wrongful death lawsuits against the driver and any separate owner of the vehicle she was operating. Evidence that she was driving while intoxicated could be used to support the civil as well as the criminal case. 

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