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California man charged with hit-and-run

According to the police, on Oct. 31, a 31-year-old Orange man drove his black Honda SUV through a crosswalk near an elementary school in Santa Ana. The SUV struck 13-year-old twin sisters and their friend who were out trick-or-treating, police say. All three girls were killed.

The Orange man allegedly fled the scene along with his two teenage children. He was apprehended on the Sunday following the crash in a Stanton hotel and is being held on a $500,000 bond pending investigation of charges for felony hit-and-run causing a death. The case is being referred to the district attorney.

Last August, the driver of the SUV pleaded guilty to charges of misdemeanor child abuse, driving under the influence and hit-and-run with property damage. He has prior convictions for spousal injury, reckless driving and violation of a protective order. There are also two outstanding bench warrants totaling $30,000.

Hit-and-run pedestrian accidents that involve the death of the victim may lead to a wrongful death suit in addition to any criminal charges that are filed. While it is not necessary for the alleged perpetrator to be convicted of a crime in order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be initiated, a conviction may strengthen a civil case. In this instance, the perpetrator has prior convictions that may be similar to those that he is currently facing. Wrongful death suits are intended to compensate the victim's families for both financial and emotional loss. An attorney who is experienced in personal injury and wrongful death claims may be a good source of support and guidance.

Source: ABC News, "1 Arrested in Halloween Hit-and-Run Deaths", My Taxin and Gillian Flaccus, November 03, 2014

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