Otero County was rocked after a single-car accident claimed the life of one teenager and injured another. Colorado State Patrol is still in the process of investigating the accident, which happened on Highway 109. Fatal motor vehicle accidents of this type are sometimes attributed to drug or alcohol use on the part of the driver, but this one is not.
According to the report, around 1 p.m. the afternoon of April 29, an SUV was traveling north on Highway 109 when the 17-year-old female driver appeared to lose control of the vehicle. The SUV left the right side of the road and re-entered it as the driver overcorrected. The car then again left the right side of the road before overturning.
The driver was ejected from the car as she was not wearing a seat belt. She was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. A 13-year-old who was a passenger in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt and survived the crash. That individual's injuries are not known at this time. Police have yet to determine what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, and they have not ruled out recklessness or negligence as possible factors in the crash.
Fatal motor vehicle accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, and it will be up to Colorado law enforcement to determine the cause of this tragic crash. If it turns out the accident was predicated on driver fault, the family of the injured passenger could choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against anyone with ownership interest in the vehicle involved, as well as the estate of the deceased driver. Such a suit is handled in civil court and requires evidence of driver negligence if damages are to be awarded to the injured party.
Source: koaa.com, "State patrol investigating fatal crash on Highway 109 in Otero County", Rachael Wardwell, April 29, 2018