Fatal Oroville Crash Suspected as DUI

Oroville Crash Suspected as DUI

Fatal Oroville Crash Suspected as DUI

I’m Ed Smith, an Oroville personal injury lawyer. On Monday, February 5, 2018, a collision involving an alleged DUI driver claimed the lives of three individuals.

My heartfelt sympathy is extended to those who loved the deceased.

Accident Information

A press release from California Highway Patrol (CHP) indicated that the collision occurred on Highway 70 in the area of Feather River Canyon a short distance west of Greenville Wye at approximately 2:00 p.m.

Investigators have stated that 48-year-old Twain resident Karen Schwamb had been driving her vehicle, an SUV of unidentified make and model, while intoxicated when she attempted to pass another vehicle inside of a turn. Schwamb reportedly crossed over the double yellow line median of the roadway in order to do so. While attempting the illegal passing maneuver, Schwamb’s vehicle collided nearly head-on with an oncoming pickup truck.

The collision with the pickup truck caused Schwamb’s SUV to overturn. As the vehicle was rolling, it collided with a Kawasaki motorcycle being driven by John Lowe, a 46-year-old Paradise resident.

Response, Fatalities, and Injuries

Responding medical officials reported that the driver of the pickup truck received fatal injuries during the accident. The county coroner identified the pickup driver as Thomas Fridrich, a 61-year-old resident of Belden, on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

Lowe and his passenger, a 40-year old resident of Paradise named Crystal Smith, were both also killed by trauma sustained in the collision and identified by the coroner on Wednesday.

Schwamb was reported to have suffered major injuries during the accident and was taken to an area hospital for emergency treatment after being arrested by CHP officers on charges of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. The passenger of Schwamb’s vehicle, a 58-year-old man by the name of James Timberlake, sustained only minor injuries.

Schwamb will reportedly remain in police custody with a bail that has been set at $3,000,000.

DUI and Wrongful Death Liability

When a DUI driver causes an accident, they are considered to have been driving negligently under California law. This means that DUI drivers who cause accidents can legally be held financially responsible for damages that their reckless behaviors have caused.

When DUI drivers cause fatal injuries, it is almost always considered a case of “wrongful death.” In these cases, individuals who were related to or depended on the decedent are able to recover for damages including loss of inheritance, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, loss of parental guidance, and more. To learn more about wrongful death cases and how people can legally recover money they deserve, see my website.

Similar Content by Ed Smith, Oroville Personal Injury Lawyer ~

Oroville Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Oroville personal injury lawyer. When people are injured or killed by negligent drivers, their family and/or dependents are often able to legally seek recompense. If this describes you, contact me for free and friendly advice. You can reach me at (530) 392-9400,, or my toll-free number (800) 404-5400.

Since 1982, Oroville residents with cases involving wrongful death and personal injury have trusted my legal assistance with reclaiming the money they are duly owed.

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My Prior Verdicts and Settlements are listed here. is Northern California’s top online info and news resource for the topics of wrongful death, traumatic injuries, and auto accidents.

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