Witnesses say that two cars were racing just prior to a West Virginia accident near Salem Presbyterian Church in Greenbrier County. They also indicated that the second vehicle fled the scene after the car accident. Two people died in the crash, and one was seriously injured.
The West Virginia accident took place on U.S. 219 in Organ Cave. The Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department reports that the driver of a Nissan Maxima lost control and struck two trees. When the vehicle hit the second tree, it split into two pieces.
The front half of the Maxima kept going for approximately 90 yards before coming to a stop. During the accident, the three occupants of the vehicle were ejected. One of the passenger's injuries were so severe that he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A second passenger, who may be related to the driver, was taken by helicopter to the University of Virginia Health System. Despite the efforts of medical personnel, he succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the vehicle is currently in critical condition at Charleston Area Medical Center. The accident is still under investigation, and it is not known what charges, if any, will be filed against the driver in connection with this fatal car accident.
No matter what happens with regard to possible criminal charges, the driver may find himself facing wrongful death actions. The surviving family of the passenger that died at the scene has the right to file a civil action against the driver. If they are able to show that the driver was negligent and caused the death of their loved one, they may be awarded the costs and damages they have suffered as a result of this accident. No amount of money can replace a family member, but it can defray the cost of his death.
Should it turn out that the passenger that died at the hospital is related to the driver, things may be more complicated. Even though the family may have the right to file a wrongful death action against the driver, the fact that he may be a family member may impact any decision they make to move forward. Only time will reveal what choice this family makes; although, it is clear that there are no winners in this fatal car accident.
Source: The Register-Herald.com, "Police investigating fatal accident in Greenbrier County," Sarah Plummer, Nov. 25, 2012