4 dead, father grieves after rural motor vehicle accident

A tragic car accident in a California farming community on Feb. 15 has left one woman and four children dead. Authorities report that the fatal motor vehicle accident occurred at a notorious intersection in Riverdale. The victims were killed when their vehicle was struck by a driver who disregarded a stop sign. Local residents say that many drivers on that rural road do not see the stop sign, and several serious accidents have occurred at that location.

The mother was driving one vehicle with the children inside, while her husband followed in another car. Official reports show that the woman’s SUV broke out into flames within seconds of the accident. The woman’s husband got out of his own car and raced toward his wife’s vehicle, but he was unable to rescue the occupants of that car. The four children, ages 1 to 11, perished in the flames as helpless bystanders watched in horror.

The driver who caused the car accident, a 41-year-old woman, was not traveling at an excessively high speed, nor was she intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. An investigation into the matter continues, as authorities attempt to determine whether prescription medication could have contributed to the wreck. She was transported to a local hospital and remains in fair condition.

Town representatives have already launched a petition to draw officials’ attention to the dangerous intersection. Those people say that the intersection would be much safer with the installation of lights and warning bumps. Victims who have suffered the loss of a loved one because of a dangerous road design may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver and the municipality that manages the hazardous road. A California attorney may be able to provide more information about legal options for such victims.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “In an already tough winter, a farm town reels from a family tragedy” Scott Gold, Feb. 17, 2014