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California father’s actions may have saved 3 family members

Unless you've experienced something similar, it is difficult to imagine how families feel after the sudden loss of a spouse, child or parent in a motor vehicle crash. Preventable deaths like this happen every day in California, like a recent truck accident southeast of Fresno that killed the driver of a car.

The man was driving to Orosi to drop off his wife and two young daughters before going to work at a Dinuba food processing plant. Investigators said the driver of a fully-loaded tractor-trailer, which had just come from the same plant, did not yield at a stop sign near Reedley. Authorities believe the father then made a decision to protect his family at the expense of his own life.

The father tried to serve right, apparently so the force of the large truck's impact would be on the driver's side of the car. A California Highway Patrol officer said the maneuver prevented a head-on collision and possibly more deaths. The man's 4-year-old daughter was seated just behind her father at the time of the semi-truck accident and suffered severe injuries.

The little girl has had multiple surgeries, including the insertion of a metal plate, to repair the damage caused by a fractured skull. The child's leg was also broken. Her 1-year-old sister and mother also survived – neither one was seriously hurt.

Investigators have determined the family members were properly restrained at the time of the crash. Police aren't certain how fast the vehicles were going at the time of the collision. Reports did not state whether authorities were considering filing charges against the truck driver.

The family has turned to a crowdfunding website to raise money for the father's burial and the injured child's medical costs. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits also can provide compensation for families, who've suffered these types of losses due to a truck driver's careless behavior.

Source: ABC13.com, "Father killed in crash with semi-truck in California" Sontaya Rose, Mar. 13, 201

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