Updated on: 3/6/2019
A speeding driver blew through an intersection and killed an Ephrata man Friday afternoon near Quincy, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s office.
The police press release states that 61-year-old Kelly Norris was traveling east on Road 9-Northwest when he was hit by 32-year-old Genaro Vazquez Visoso, who was going south on Road K-Northwest at high speed. Vazquez failed to stop at the intersection, colliding with Norris before coming to a rest in a field.
Vazquez’s car caught fire, and passersby pulled him from the wreckage. He suffered critical injuries and was taken by ambulance to Quincy Valley Medical Center.
Norris died at the scene. The sheriff’s Motor Traffic Unit continues to investigate the crash.
Pursuing A Wrongful Death Claim
Because the police press release for this crash says that Vazquez was speeding and blew through the intersection, it’s possible that criminal charges could be filed against him. Separate from those charges, a wrongful death claim could be filed to recover damages for Norris’ death.
Proving negligence is the key in wrongful death claims. When the police determine that negligence was the cause of a fatal car accident, the concept of wrongful death comes into play. The aggrieved/victimized family members have the legal right to seek damages for the loss of their loved one.
When it comes to pursuing a wrongful death claim, a beneficiary of the deceased must first be appointed as the Personal Representative (PR). The PR is a person that acts on behalf of the victim and files the wrongful death lawsuit.
In most wrongful death cases, the following must be proved:
- Duty of care: In a car accident, it must be proved that the defendant had an obligation to follow the rules of the road and operate a vehicle safely.
- Breach of duty of care: It must be showed that the defendant breached the duty of care. Speeding or running a stop sign breaks this duty of care.
- Causation: Breaking a duty of care is not enough in a wrongful death case. The defendant must also be found responsible for the action that directly caused the death. In the case of a car accident, the defendant might not be responsible for the death if a mechanical failure occurred or the deceased was not wearing a seat belt.
If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death accident in Washington State, contact attorney Chris Davis and the team at Davis Law Group, P.S., at (206) 727-4000 to schedule a free case evaluation.