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Car plows onto sidewalk homeless encampment; three die, six hurt


Tragedies like this are difficult to comprehend. Three people dead, six people injured when a moving car jumped over a sidewalk and plowed into an encampment of homeless people in downtown San Diego. And the 71-year-old male driver exited his station wagon, attempting to help people before identifying himself to authorities.

Due to the severity of this March 15 incident, it made global news. The three victims died at the scene, and five of the six injured people – two in critical condition – were transported to the hospital. And authorities immediately apprehended the driver, who faces an assortment of criminal charges, including vehicular manslaughter, causing great bodily harm and DUI.

Catastrophic injuries, wrongful death

While authorities continue to investigate the incident, its ramifications promise to linger and affect the lives of many, many people. While driving his vehicle through a tunnel underneath a college campus, the man drove onto the sidewalk filled with tents containing homeless people who were under the bridge apparently to avoid the rain.

The driver’s negligence obviously played a role in this incident as many unsuspecting people saw their lives abruptly change. Catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputations, severe fractures and internal bleeding are bound to surface. The survivors potentially face multiple surgeries, months of rehabilitation, a lifetime of living with a disability and emotional trauma difficult to overcome.

And the families of the fatal victims face an indescribable loss in this wrongful death scenario. They may have lost the companionship of a brother, sister, wife, husband, father and uncle. What likely awaits them now are medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, mental anguish and the loss of income.

With the loss of a loved one, it takes a great amount of time to recover. The same holds true for the victim of a catastrophic injury. The financial and emotional tolls promise to be devastating.