A 32-year-old woman from Bowie, Maryland, has been charged with multiple crimes after an accident that claimed the lives of five children and one adult.

The woman crashed her sport utility vehicle into a tree after she drove off Route 301 close to Pointer Ridge Drive. The authorities say that the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was “at least” double the legal limit when she wrecked.

According to investigators, none of the children in the vehicle, who ranged from 5-years-old to 15-years-old, were wearing seat belts. As a result, all five were thrown from the vehicle due to the force of impact with the tree. The driver was the mother of two of the children who were killed and related to the others. A 23-year-old man who was also in the vehicle survived the initial accident but died a few days later.

The driver herself was only mildly injured in the crash — but she now faces up to 60 years in prison. Alcohol consumption and excessive speed are two of the most common reasons for car accidents — and probably the most tragic because they’re utterly avoidable.

The relatives of the victims in this case and others like it will face numerous expenses after such a tragedy. At a minimum, there will be costs associated with the ambulances, the hospital, the funeral services and burials. In the case of the adult that was killed, he may have been a provider for his family who has now been abruptly taken away. Following a deadly car accident, a wrongful death action may be able to help the survivors absorb their financial losses — even as the legal system seeks to balance the scales of justice.