On Sept. 14, an Erie County accident involving two vehicles left one woman dead and another person hurt, according to police. The incident reportedly took place at the intersection of Sheridan Drive and Harris Hill Road in Clarence.

That is where an eastbound vehicle driven by a 58-year-old woman ran a red light and collided with a northbound vehicle, officials stated. The second vehicle was driven by a 47-year-old woman, and it continued traveling for some 15 yards following the collision, ultimately coming to a stop in the parking lot of a bakery.

Officials pronounced the 47-year-old woman dead at the scene of the crash. The 58-year-old driver was also injured in the accident. Emergency personnel transported her to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, authorities reported.

State Police commenced an investigation into the incident. Reportedly, charges are pending.

Crashes resulting in a fatality typically warrant a lengthy and exhaustive investigation. If such an investigation were to turn up evidence linking the accident to a distracted driver, then there is a possibility that the crash might give rise to not just criminal charges but also civil action. For, negligent drivers who cause accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities may be susceptible to both criminal prosecution and civil claims, such as a wrongful death lawsuit.

Families of victims in fatal accidents may retain a lawyer and file a wrongful death suit against the party whose actionable behavior, such as using a cellphone while behind the wheel of an automobile or any other form of distracted driving, contributed to the crash. In this way, bereaved family members may seek financial compensation for the losses they suffered in connection with the fatal event, including but not limited to funeral expenses and lost earnings.

Source: WIVB.com, “Police: Woman dead after driver ran red light in Clarence”, September 15, 2014