It is difficult enough to receive the news that one or more family members have died in a car crash. It must be even more horrific to witness firsthand a crash that results in the deaths of family members. Sadly, that is exactly what happened to one California couple who were following their grown daughter, who was six months pregnant, her boyfriend and their children home to Pomona from a family gathering in San Francisco.

The crash occurred in Merced County on Sunday night. The family was about halfway home when witnesses saw the car suddenly veer across the center median after weaving slightly and slamming into a tree after crossing the westbound lane. The force of the impact instantly killed everyone inside, ejecting the two children despite the fact that all the occupants were wearing seatbelts, and cut the vehicle in half.

The woman’s father reports that her boyfriend decided to make the drive home despite that fact that he had mentioned feeling ill earlier in the day. It is unclear whether this was a factor in the crash. Authorities have yet to determine a cause but have effectively ruled out impairment and speeding, saying that the weather does not appear to have been a factor either.

As tragic as the aftermath of this accident is, it would have been even worse if it had involved another vehicle or a pedestrian. Most drivers do not set out on the road with the intention of harming someone else, but those who have received catastrophic injuries or lost loved ones in a car accident may find it helpful to contact an attorney and inquire whether damages are available.