In the early morning hours of July 31, a woman in Schertz, Texas, reportedly drove the wrong way on Interstate 35 and crashed into a van carrying a family of five. Initially, no parties were seriously injured, and the wrong-way driver exited her vehicle after the crash.
An attendant from a nearby rest stop crossed the highway on foot to assist, and a passenger bus pulled to a stop behind the accident. The driver of the bus also attempted to help. As the rest station attendant and the bus driver stood just off the road with the wrong-way driver, a tanker truck approached the scene and was unable to slow down in time. The truck slammed into the wrong-way driver and the good Samaritans, killing all three.
Multiple-vehicle auto accidents such as this one can make the determination of fault and liability more difficult than in straightforward collisions. However, it would appear that the wrong-way driver, though she is deceased, could be regarded in court as the person whose negligence ultimately caused the deaths of the two good Samaritans.
A civil court may also need to determine how culpable the truck driver is for the accident. It is possible that responsibility for the initial collision between the wrong-way driver and the van will be determined separately from the fault for the truck crashing into the people on the roadway.
Even in an auto accident that kills the responsible party, compensation for victims can be recovered from the insurance policy and estate of the deceased. However, a skilled personal injury attorney is usually necessary to negotiate this especially complicated aspect of the legal system.
Source: My San Antonio, "Good Samaritans, wrong-way driver killed by truck," Michelle Mondo and Ana Ley, July 31, 2012