On Feb. 14, a California man was killed in a three-vehicle collision on Interstate 5. The crash, which occurred near Woodland, also left a woman seriously injured.

According to a news release from the California Highway Patrol, a 2020 Chevrolet driven by an unidentified individual slammed into the back of a 2015 Volkswagen on southbound Interstate 5 near County Road 102 around 4:30 p.m. The force of the impact then pushed the Volkswagen into a 2020 Ford ahead of it. The Volkswagen’s driver, a Ukiah man, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. A passenger in the car, a 38-year-old Ukiah woman, suffered major injuries and was transported to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment. Two girls riding in the Volkswagen, ages 4 and 9, did not appear to suffer any injuries, but they were taken to the hospital as a precaution. The driver of the Chevrolet suffered minor injuries, and the driver of the Ford was not injured.

Everyone involved in the accident was wearing a seat belt, according to CHP officials. Investigators said they do not yet know why the Chevrolet rear-ended the Volkswagen, but it does not appear that alcohol or drugs played any role in the accident. The investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed.

When a negligent driver causes a fatal car accident, the victim’s next of kin might wish to take legal action against the responsible party in civil court. For example, with the help of an attorney, the victim’s family could file a wrongful death claim against the individual who caused the crash. If the claim is successful, it might lead to a settlement that compensates them for funeral and burial costs, loss of income, loss of companionship, mental anguish and other related damages.