Early Sunday morning, a driver and his four passengers were driving east on Olney-Laytonsville Road in Olney, Maryland. Police believe the vehicle left the roadway and then hit two trees and a telephone pole.
Three passengers died in the car accident. An 18-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Two other passengers were rushed to local hospitals, but later died. A fourth passenger was treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the automobile survived the accident, but he may be facing both civil and criminal legal proceedings as a result of the fatal crash.
Officers state the driver is a 20-year-old student at James Madison University, and they would like to see him held criminally responsible for the accident and its aftermath. Law enforcement authorities believe the 20-year-old driver attempted to flee the scene of the accident on foot. As a result, he has been arrested and is facing felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident as well as counts of failing to report an injury accident to the nearest law enforcement authorities.
An investigation into the fatal car accident is ongoing as authorities await the results of the driver's blood tests.
In addition to the criminal charges, the driver may also face civil lawsuits filed by the families of the passengers killed in the accident. When a person negligently or recklessly causes the death of another person, he or she can face a wrongful death lawsuit.
In incidents like this unfortunate accident, the results of a criminal investigation will not directly compensate family members for their losses. However, the criminal investigation will likely have a strong affect on any civil litigation that is filed because of the driver's negligence.
Source: WHSV.com, "Three Killed in Maryland Crash," 5/16/2011