Colorado investigators are evaluating a recent crash where a woman was struck by three cars. Initial reports are calling this an accident, even though the first driver who struck her is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol. No other injuries were reported from the car accidents.
An SUV struck the woman first, and the Coroner's Office believes she died swiftly after the impact. A second vehicle then struck the woman as she lay on the ground. At this point witnesses approached the downed woman and tried to help, but she was struck a third time. That driver did not stop but fled the scene.
The car accident occurred at approximately 11:15 pm on a Wednesday night in mid-September, causing the intersection to be closed for around six hours for investigation. Police were still searching for the third vehicle at the time of this report. Unfortunately, due to the late time of the car accidents, the witness's accounts of the third vehicle were vague.
The family of this woman retains the right to pursue civil wrongful death lawsuits against any party deemed to have negligently caused the woman's fatal injuries. This type of Colorado legal action requires that the plaintiff prove the fatality was caused by the negligence of another party from the car accidents. If it is established that the SUV driver was negligent in a manner that caused the collision, liability for monetary damages which resulted may attach. If that driver is charged and later convicted of drunk driving, the family may seek to offer proof of that criminal conviction in the wrongful death lawsuit as evidence of negligence. Ultimately, a court may be required to rule on these important legal issues.
Source: Huffington Post, "Fort Collins Woman Hit By 3 Consecutive Vehicles, Death Ruled An Accident," Sept. 13, 2012