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Financial devastation often follows the loss of a loved one

No Alaska parents wants to receive news that their 17-year-old child has been killed in an automobile accident. However, a recent crash involving two vehicles took the lives of two young girls both that age. Many times, a family who has suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal crash is then hit with tremendous financial debt when faced with funeral expenses, medical bills for any treatment rendered before death and other costs.

The recent tragedy occurred on a Monday night when the two girls were traveling together in a sports utility vehicle. Apparently, a pickup truck collided with them, head-on, and their vehicle went underwater in a nearby creek. Officers estimated that the vehicle was at least five to seven feet underwater for an unknown period of time.

The girls were successfully extricated from the submerged vehicle. Reportedly, they were both being transported to a medical facility for emergency care. During transport, life-saving efforts were performed by rescuers. Sadly, those efforts proved unsuccessful when both girls died en route to the hospital.

The driver of the pickup truck was not injured in the crash. It is believed that deployed airbags in his vehicle may have protected him from injury. It is also believed that loss of steering control on the part of one of the victims when rounding a curve, moments before the fatal collision took place, was a causal factor in the crash. After the unexpected loss of a loved one, it is difficult to think beyond one's grief; however, in the past, many Alaska families have chosen to file wrongful death claims in civil court against the at-fault driver to seek monetary recovery for their devastating losses. While this could never serve as a replacement for a human life lost, compensation in successful claims can be used to help offset costs associated with an accident.

Source: adn.com, "2 Fairbanks teens killed in Richardson Highway wreck", Chris Klint, July 19, 2016

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