Police have released the name of a Phoenix woman killed in a fatal crash, that also left her two children seriously injured.
Phoenix Police Department spokesman James Holmes said Monday that 43-year-old Nora C. Payan-Munoz was killed after her car was smashed from behind and sent into oncoming traffic. Phoenix police say she was slowing into a left turn lane in west Phoenix on Saturday afternoon when another driver veered into the lane and rear-ended her car.
The collision sent the woman's car into oncoming traffic lanes, and another car smashed into its side. Her 6-year-old and 13-year-old sons were taken to a local hospital in critical condition.
Police say there were no immediate indications of impairment by the other drivers, but added that they would be evaluated.
What a sad story. A woman is dead, and two little kids—if they survive, have lost them mom. Who is at fault for this one?
It certainly seems that the driver who rear ended Ms. Payan-Munoz is at fault. Inattention? Little doubt here.
What about the driver who struck her in the intersection? At this stage, did that driver do anything wrong? We cannot tell from these facts, but on its face, it is hard to see how.
What if that same driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol? I could certainly make a stronger case for “being able to avoid”, but again, it would have to be proven that the influence of the drugs or alcohol made a difference, and contributed to the accident.
In Arizona, this is called a “wrongful death” case. ARS §12-612 sets forth the proper persons who can bring claims. These can be difficult and complicated matters.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims’ families.