A father of two is recovering in a Pennsylvania hospital from an accident that killed his 28-year-old wife and 7-year-old son. The man's surviving son is a toddler who escaped serious injury when the family's car was struck by a truck in a Pittsburgh suburb.
Allegheny County investigators said three vehicles were involved in the collision. Police don't know why a pickup slammed into two vehicles on the Golden Mile Highway. Drunk driving is not believed to be a factor; toxicology tests were administered to rule out the possibility.
Authorities suspect the 65-year-old truck driver suffered a medical episode. Until the
investigation is complete, the reason is as good as any other to explain why the pickup veered into oncoming traffic.
The unidentified truck driver and the operator of the third vehicle were hospitalized and treated. Neither apparently suffered life-threatening injuries.
The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office will decide whether criminal charges should be filed for the deaths of the third grader and his mother. The woman was killed instantly. Her son, a baseball player well-liked by peers and teachers, died hours later of blunt-force trauma injuries.
The father's physical recovery is compounded by grief. He may be unable to earn income or care for his surviving child for months to come. Expenses are mounting, even as the father copes with personal pain and the loss of two family members. Accumulating medical bills and funeral and burial costs could run higher than the limits of the family's resources.
Negligence is not always a crime, but it is a reason for a civil jury to award damages for unnecessary harm. If the truck driver had a medical problem while driving, the plaintiff's attorney would try to find out whether the situation was preventable. A driver with a known medical condition who abandons doctors' orders can be found liable in car accident cases.
Young crash victim recognized for acts of kindness
" Brian C. Rittmeyer, Jul. 20, 2013