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Driver charged following Arizona 2-fatality crash

Police detained a woman who was accused of driving a Toyota and running into the back of another vehicle, killing its two occupants. Authorities said the 35-year-old woman was driving a Toyota SUV when she hit the back of a Chevrolet sedan at the intersection of Recker Road and Brown Road in Mesa around 5:15 a.m. on June 9.

It is estimated that the Toyota was traveling about 90 miles per hour when it hit the sedan, which was stopped at a red light. The sedan was pushed into another SUV, causing that vehicle to roll onto its top. The Toyota also sideswiped a fourth vehicle. The drivers of the third and fourth vehicles did not suffer life-threatening injuries, and the accused driver suffered a broken vertebra.

Investigators believed that speed and impairment were contributing factors in the fatal accident. The Toyota driver was also required to have an ignition interlock device on her vehicle due to a prior DUI violation. Police took her into custody as she left the hospital on June 16. Her charges include aggravated DUI, aggravated assault, manslaughter and reckless endangerment. She also allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana the night before the accident.

When someone dies because of the negligent act of another, the family of the deceased may not be aware that they can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault individual. Those who are able to bring such actions are generally limited to immediate family members of the deceased, those being parents, children or a spouse, or the estate of the deceased. A settlement from such a lawsuit could compensate the family for their lost source of income, final medical and funeral expenses, and loss of support and guidance.

Source: AZFamily.com, "Mesa police arrest woman in fatal crash", Jennifer Thomas, June 18, 2014

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