One Washington driver is facing charges of vehicular homicide after an Oct. 26 accident near Shelton that resulted in the death of another driver. The Washington State Patrol reported that two vehicles were involved in the State Route 3 crash, a 2005 Acura TL and a Honda Civic.
According to troopers, the accident occurred at approximately 6:39 a.m., when the northbound Acura crossed the highway’s double yellow line in an attempt to pass other vehicles and collided with the southbound Honda. The force of the collision sent the Civic off the roadway and into a ditch.
The Civic driver, a 20-year-old woman, did not survive the accident. Officials pronounced her dead at the scene of the crash. The Acura driver was transported to a hospital via emergency airlift. The extent of the auto injuries suffered by the Acura driver as a result of the crash was not reported. Nor was the Acura driver’s identity disclosed during the immediate aftermath of the incident.
In addition to the vehicular homicide charges, the Acura driver in this case may also potentially face a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the deadly collision. Furthermore, if the family of the decedent were to pursue civil action against the Acura driver, the outcome of the criminal charges brought against that individual would have no bearing on the lawsuit.
That is because criminal cases are prepared, presented and tried independently from civil cases, even when they share defendants. However, an attorney representing the bereaved family in a civil suit may adopt evidentiary material from the prosecution’s criminal case if it were to substantiate the wrongful death claim and help convince a civil court that the defendant ought to be held liable for the deadly event.
Source: The Olympian , “1 dead, 1 charged with vehicular homicide after Sunday crash near Shelton “, Tammy McGee, October 27, 2014