Deadly car crashes are especially heartbreaking when the loss of life includes children. A child's accidental death is never anticipated. Suffering is intensified when the driver responsible for the fatality is a relative or friend of the small victims.
A Pennsylvania community east of Erie is in shock after the deaths of a half dozen people in a head-on collision. The victims, ages 6 to 81, were killed along a highway in rural McKean County. A boy and his mother, who may have caused the crash, were seriously injured in the fatal accident.
Police records say the surviving parent, a 36-year-old Kane resident, was driving a Jeep through the Allegheny National Forest when the vehicle veered into oncoming traffic. The Jeep smashed straight on into a Pontiac sedan, killing all four adults inside. The occupants were residents of St. Marys. The accident also took the lives of two children in the Jeep, the driver's daughter and nephew, ages 12 and 6 respectively.
Investigators revealed at least three victims had not been properly restrained, although police declined to identify which victims they were. A Pennsylvania trooper at the scene of the collision indicated charges might be pending against the mother.
Small Pennsylvania communities are stung bitterly by news like this. Grief is accompanied by questions, some of which eventually are answered by police officials.
Crash reconstruction teams can learn how an accident happened by studying the evidence from wreckage and a crash scene. Toxicology test results will eliminate or confirm the use of alcohol by drivers. Interviews with survivors and witnesses fill gaps that other investigative tools do not provide.
With or without criminal charges, victims and families have the option to file liability lawsuits. Damages requested in personal injury and
wrongful death claims
may include hospital costs, anticipated health care needs, wage losses and emotional trauma.
beaumontenterprise.com, "Crash on Pa. highway kills 6, including 2 kids" No author given, Sep. 01, 2013