According to the Cass County Sheriff's Office, a 24-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman died in a Sept. 13 accident close to Elmwood. Officials said that they were rear-ended on U.S. Highway 34 at around 7:30 p.m.
The man and woman were reportedly traveling in a 2006 Nissan Sentra. The vehicle that struck them was a 2006 Mazda. Officials pronounced both the 24-year-old man and the 22-year-old woman dead at the scene of the accident. According to officials, the driver of the Mazda was injured in the crash and received emergency transport to a hospital.
Authorities reported that the accident remains under investigation. Law enforcement officials suspect that one of the drivers involved in the event may have been speeding as well as impaired.
If a preponderance of evidence from this case were to substantiate the suspicion that speeding and alcohol contributed to the wreck, then there is a possibility that the fatal crash may give rise to not just criminal charges but also a civil lawsuit. That is because families who lose loved ones on account of an accident caused by reckless or impaired driving may seek financial compensation for the pecuniary damages they suffered via civil action.
More specifically, bereaved family members may retain a wrongful death attorney and file suit against the at-fault driver, seeking restitution for end-of-life expenses, including but not limited to funeral bills and estate administration expenses. If successful, claimants in a wrongful death lawsuit may even be awarded compensation for lost earnings in the event that the decedent had contributed income to the family household or to dependents while alive.
Source: 1011 HD, "Two Dead in Crash Near Elmwood", September 22, 2014