Kathleen Hydrusko, 63, was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Riverside County after an SUV that another driver was towing broke loose and smashed into her car.
According to a report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal crash occurred on the night of Feb. 4. California Highway Patrol officials said someone was using a black pickup to tow a Ford Explorer SUV when the accident happened.
Vehicle Came Loose from Trailer
The Explorer was on a two-wheel trailer on which a vehicle’s front wheels rest with the back wheels on the pavement. The Explorer came loose from the trailer and rolled into the path of oncoming traffic striking Hydrusko’s silver Toyota RAV4 head-on. The driver of the pickup truck that was towing the SUV fled the scene.
CHP officials said they did not know the make or model of the pickup truck and were attempting to reconcile various witness reports about the ownership of the SUV. Anyone with information is asked to contact CHP’s San Gorgonio Pass office at 951-769-2000.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Kathleen Hydrusko for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the pickup had failed to secure the SUV properly, which resulted in the vehicle detaching and striking the victim’s vehicle. California’s laws are very clear when it comes to safely towing vehicles. California Vehicle Code Section 29003 states every hitch, drawbar, coupler or other connection between motor vehicles towing must be securely attached to the vehicle and strong enough to handle the weight for whatever is being towed.
California Vehicle Code Section 29004 also states every towed vehicle must be equipped with strong safety chains. In addition, the driver of the pickup truck, in this case, fled the scene of a fatal crash in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a).
In such cases, families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties. Hit-and-run cases where the driver has not been identified can be more complex. A knowledgeable Riverside car accident lawyer will be able to advise victims and families regarding all avenues of compensation that may be available to them.