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One killed, five hurt when tractor-trailer careens off freeway

One person was killed and five more were injured in a multi-vehicle crash involving a tractor-trailer in San Fernando Valley on April 17. The accident happened around 6:40 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities said a tractor-trailer driver was traveling east on 210 Freeway when he lost control of his vehicle, veered down an embankment and smashed into an SUV and a car stopped at the intersection of Paxton Street and Foothill Boulevard below. The impact forced the vehicles into the intersection, causing them to strike a pickup truck and a dump truck.

The driver of the pickup, a 32-year-old Sylmar man, was killed. Four other victims, including a passenger in the pickup, were transported to area hospitals with critical injuries. A fifth victim was treated for minor injuries. Authorities said the tractor-trailer driver claimed a coughing fit caused him to lose control of his vehicle. They said they are also investigating whether distracted driving or drunk driving played a role in the crash.

Fatal accidents could be caused by a number of factors, including impaired or distracted driving or a medical emergency. If a police investigation determines that a fatal crash was caused by the negligent actions of another driver, the decedent's family may wish to pursue a wrongful death claim against that individual in civil court. While a lawsuit can never make up for the loss of a loved one, it may bring needed financial compensation that covers pecuniary damages, including funeral expenses and loss of income. In some cases, non-pecuniary damages, such as loss of companionship, may also be awarded.

Source: KTLA, "1 Dead, 5 Hospitalized After Big Rigs Crashes Into Vehicles in San Fernando Valley," Ashley Soley-Cerro, Erin Myers and Melissa , April 17, 2015

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