Some Pennsylvanians, especially retired ones, have second homes in sunny locations to skip the long, cold winter weather. When seasonal relocation is not possible, many Erie County residents head to the warm South for spring vacations. That was the case for a couple with three decades of togetherness.
A 48-year-old woman and her 50-year-old husband spent several weeks of early spring visiting a relative in Florida. The pleasant vacation was nearing its end when the wife and two other victims were killed in a Sunday morning
. Police think the crash was caused by a drunk driver.
The vacationing spouses were passengers in a car operated by the wife's 51-year-old sibling, a Florida resident for 18 years. The brother's 56-year-old partner accompanied them. Only one person survived the fatal collision - the man who had been on vacation with his wife of 30 years.
Police said the car occupied by the two couples was hit at an intersection not far from the brother's home. A 21-year-old pickup truck driver was faulted for the crash that killed three people and shattered the leg and hip bones of the surviving husband.
The accused adult was also hospitalized with bone fractures. Investigators said the truck driver had been speeding at the time of the crash. A toxicology test will determine whether police are correct about the driver's intoxication. Criminal charges are expected to be filed after the driver's chemical test results are known.
The vacation that was meant to refresh winter-weary spouses and revitalize family ties turned out to be the couple's last. The surviving spouse struggles with recovery as he mourns the loss of his wife. Parents, children and grandchildren are also grieving.
The husband's emotional and financial suffering is compensable through a legal claim for personal injury or wrongful death. Out-of-court settlements and civil court jury awards provide plaintiffs with economic comfort when harm is caused by drunk driving negligence.
Source: timesonline.com, "
Crash victims were part of large, close-knit family
" Jenny Wagner, May. 02, 2013