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Accident involving Tesla kills three in Palmdale

With the car industry producing more fuel-efficient vehicles -- including electric and hybrid cars -- safety devices are also becoming bigger features, with advances coming in new automatic braking systems, lane drift warning devices and so on. Even with advances in technology, however, drivers must still concentrate on traffic and highway conditions whenever they are on the road. They are also required to follow state traffic laws, avoid driving while intoxicated and respect other drivers' rights on the road. Still, car accidents occur every day on California's streets and highways, injuring and killing drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

On the 14 Freeway in Palmdale recently, a late-night collision between a 2013 Tesla and a 2004 Toyota Corolla killed three people and injured three others. According to the California Highway Patrol, the all-electric Tesla, driven by a 58-year-old man, rear-ended the Corolla around 10:30 p.m.

Three people in the Corolla were killed -- the 40-year-old driver and two boys ages eight and 13. Two other males ages six and 31 were seriously injured and transported to Southern California hospitals. The Tesla's driver sustained minor injuries. An initial investigation did not find alcohol or drugs to be contributing factors to the crash.

In this case, it is not yet known what led to the accident. The survivors may be able to help investigators determine what happened. If the accident resulted from the Tesla driver's carelessness or negligence, then the victims and family members of those killed may seek compensation from the responsible party.

Californians who have sustained injuries as a result of a car accident should make sure they understand their legal rights. Compensation may be obtained through negotiation or litigation. If criminal charges are filed, evidence gathered by CHP investigators can be used in a lawsuit.

Source: NBC Southern California, "One adult, two children dead after crash in Palmdale," Samia Khan and Oleevia Woo, July 5, 2014

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