An afternoon on the Salt River could have contributed to an accident that injured five people and left another person dead. According to an azcentral.com report, a crash occurred on the westbound lanes of Interstate 10 near 12th Street in Phoenix.
Authorities report that the driver of the car involved in the crash was trying to avoid slower traffic when he swerved and lost control of the vehicle. It reportedly rolled over before coming to rest. While the accident is still under investigation, police believe that alcohol could have played a role in the crash. Because of this possibility, the matter is being treated as a possible homicide.
As we noted in our prior post, an accident could be considered a civil matter as well as a criminal matter. For crimes, the State of Arizona is seeking criminal penalties against a person who was violating the law and caused a subsequent accident. This requires every element of the crime to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
In civil matters, it must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e. more likely than not) that the offending driver failed to use reasonable care while behind the wheel, and that such a failure was the proximate cause of the accident that caused the injuries at question. Criminal convictions can, and are commonly used, as evidence of the failure to use reasonable care.
It remains to be seen whether negligence claims or a wrongful death action will be brought against the driver. However, the accident is a reminder of the need for drivers to be prudent after days of fun when alcohol is involved.
Source: azcentral.com “Fatal accident on I-10 near 12th Street,” Katie Bieri, Chris Williams and Garrett Wichmann, June 10, 2014