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Crash during test drive kills car salesman

A California car salesman was killed in a crash during a test drive in Ontario on February 23. The driver was suspected of being under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. According to police, a 28-year-old man lost control of the Corvette he was test driving, and then slammed into a tree a few blocks from the car dealership. Witnesses told the media that the car was traveling as fast as 70 mph before the crash. The salesman, a 43-year-old man, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died from his injuries.

An Ontario police sergeant said the driver is suspected of having taken prescribed drugs prior to the test drive. He was charged with suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence. The sergeant said the man is cooperating with the investigation and was released from jail on bail on Feb. 24.

A grief counselor was brought to the car dealership to talk to employees about their co-worker's death. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on-the-job fatalities for car salespeople are rare, with only seven occurring in the U.S. in 2014. The BLS lists these accidents as transportation incidents, and they include accidents involving cars traveling on the road or in car lots.

Fatal injuries resulting from accidents involving a car being test driven could cause some questions to arise about insurance coverage and liability. In such an event, the surviving family members of the decedent may want to meet with an attorney to see whether a wrongful death lawsuit would be an appropriate remedy.

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