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Wrong-way crash kills two on California's Highway 101

On Feb. 20, two people died following a wrong-way crash on Highway 101 near the county line between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. Authorities said the crash occurred at approximately 12:50 p.m. Southbound Highway 101 was shut down north of Santa Maria for approximately two hours as authorities investigated the crash scene. It was reopened about 3:30 p.m.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck going the wrong way entered the highway using the southbound Broadway exit. Shortly after crossing the Santa Maria River Bridge, the northbound truck collided head-on with a southbound Ford Fiesta. The Santa Maria Fire Department said that at least one of the vehicles burst into flames following the crash. They also indicated one victim had to be cut from the wreckage.

The 57-year-old Chevrolet driver, a resident of Hastings, Nebraska, died at the scene of the crash. Both occupants of the Ford, a 71-year-old Nipomo man and a 70-year-old Nipomo woman, suffered major injuries and were taken to Marian Regional Medical Center. The man was later pronounced dead, but the woman's condition had not been updated at the time of reporting.

Any family who has lost a loved one in a fatal car crash caused by the negligent actions of another driver may wish to consult with an attorney. By using police reports, crash investigation results and witness testimony, an attorney could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver on behalf of the victim's family. If the at-fault driver was also killed in the crash, the lawsuit may be filed against their insurance company and estate. Such a claim could bring the victim's family a financial settlement to pay for unexpected costs such as hospital bills and funeral costs. In some cases, they may also be awarded for non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship.

Source: The Tribune News, "Two killed in Hwy. 101 crash caused by wrong-way driver," Matt Fountain, Feb. 20, 2015

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