Charles Gifford died because Joseph King couldn’t keep his eyes open — at least that’s how it looks, according to the police report.

Mr. Gifford, 75, was killed early May 9 when his pickup careened off the road, through a chain link fence and into a tree after being struck from behind by King.

According to the police report, King told officers he took the drug Klonopin four hours before the crash and “felt himself dozing off and waking up as he drove.”

In addition to drug use intoxication, the police report lists King’s “failure to control speed” as a contributing factor in the crash.

King was arrested and charged with Negligent Criminal Homicide, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Marijuana in connection wth the crash.

Mr. Gifford’s family was left to pick up the pieces and grieve … and to prove their pain to the insurance company.

Despite the mounting evidence of what happened, King’s insurance company has placed the burden on Mr. Gifford’s family to prove what killed their loved one.

In a letter, the insurance company wrote: “… we will need several items to assess the extent of your injuries and fully evaluate your claim. I have enclosed a Medical Authorization Form and Provider List so we can request the medical bills and treatment notes associated with this accident. Please review these forms and complete them where indicated. Return them to the address listed on the top of this page.”

An adjuster for the insurance company also told Mr. Gifford’s family members that King was getting a divorce.

“You’re supposed to feel sorry for (King’s wife),” said attorney Jeff Weinstein, who is representing the Gifford family.

Weinstein explained that King doesn’t own the truck he was driving in the crash, his wife does. King is potentially negligent for causing the wreck. His wife is potentially negligent for entrusting the vehicle to him.”

“My guess is the spin at the insurance company will be that there’s harm on both sides so the Giffords should feel sorry for poor Mrs. King having to be married to Mr. King,” said Weinstein. “The spin doctors are at work right now.”

The Gifford family has given Weinstein Law permission to document their story in the hopes that it may help others in the same situation. Read all of the stories here.