Thomas Westerlund, 25, suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident after a vehicle making a U-turn struck him. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred on Las Virgenes Road south of Thousand Oaks Boulevard the afternoon of June 12, 2013. Officials say his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck whose driver was making a U-turn.
A motorcyclist suffered leg injuries after he was struck by the driver of the sedan, who then left the scene. According to a news report in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the injury collision occurred the night of June 13, 2013 at the intersection of Eastbury and Workman avenues in Covina. The motorcyclist was traveling westbound on Workman Avenue while a car was going east.
The car made a left turn on to Eastbury Avenue and struck the motorcyclist. The driver did not stop. The motorcyclist, a Glendora man, suffered major injuries to a leg and was transported to an area hospital. Police have described the vehicle as a dark-colored BMW, possibly blue. No driver description was available.
Alice Talamantes, 92, of Azusa, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident after a vehicle struck her while she was crossing the road. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal pedestrian collision occurred the afternoon of June 7, 2013 at the intersection of Third Street and La Brea Avenue in Hancock Park. Police say the Talamantes was trying to cross the intersection and she had made it about 10 feet from the Third Street curb when she was struck by a northbound white 1983 Peterbilt truck. Police say she was walking in the crosswalk, heading north on La Brea Avenue when the collision occurred. Talamantes was transported to an area hospital where she died. The truck driver was not arrested or cited pending an investigation.
Officials say a driver who was texting triggered a San Dimas crash that left two, including the allegedly distracted driver, injured. According to a news report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the injury collision occurred early morning on June 8, 2013, at the intersection of Arrow Highway and Lone Hill Avenue. Police say one of the cars overturned at the intersection. Another car had crashed through a rear wall and ended up in a backyard on Hampton Court. Both drivers were transported to an area hospital with unknown injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
Kelly Morehouse, 25, was killed in a motorcycle accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred at Goldenwest Street and Rio Vista Drive near Central Park. Police say Morehouse's boyfriend was driving a black 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle south on Goldenwest the night of June 1, 2013 when it collided with a northbound blue 2010 Lexus sedan driven by 68-year-old Tadashi Mizutani.
Morehouse and her boyfriend were taken to a local hospital. Morehouse died at the hospital. Her boyfriend suffered leg fractures, but was in stable condition. Mizutani was arrested shortly after the incident on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Kelly Morehouse, who by all accounts was a beloved member of her family and the community. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were four fatalities and 107 injuries involving DUI crashes in Huntington Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 45 people died and 1,317 were injured due to drunk driving collisions during the same year.
Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that police suspect Mizutani was under the influence at the time. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle." A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will also likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
Compensation for Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to criminal charges, drivers can also be held civilly liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.
A 24-year-old Los Angeles woman was killed and six others were injured in a devastating Los Angeles car crash that involved a driver who was street racing, officials said.
According to a report in Patch.com, the fatal accident occurred at the intersection of Alameda Street and Firestone Boulevard near South Gate midnight on May 26, 2013 around midnight. Police say a 2003 Acura driven by 20-year-old Michael Villalobos, which was southbound on Firestone, ran a red light at Alameda and crashed into a northbound 1997 Honda, driven by the victim.
She was transported to a local hospital where she died. Villalobos's Acura also hit a third car, a 2008 Honda driven by a 50-year-old South Gate woman. That victim suffered serious injuries. Her two passengers, a15-year-old boy and a 16- year-old girl, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Villalobos was arrested and charged with street racing, reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter.
One person died and 322 were injured as a result of car accidents in South Gate, according to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Los Angeles County as a whole, 530 fatalities and 50,513 injuries were reported due to car crashes during the same year.
Illegal Racing on Public Roadways
Under California law, it is illegal to race a vehicle on a public roadway. California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a) states: "A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. For purposes of this section, an event in which the time to cover a prescribed route of more than 20 miles is measured, but where the vehicle does not exceed the speed limits, is not a speed contest." In addition, officials also say that the driver arrested in connection with this crash ran a red light at the intersection and struck the victims' vehicles.
Compensation for Victims and Families
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral expenses, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Injured victims can seek damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims or their families would be well advised to contact and experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.
Maria A. Mendoza, 77, was killed in a Riverside County rollover car crash after the vehicle in which she was traveling crashed into another car. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the crash occurred the night of May 19, 2013 along the Interstate 10 east of Wall Street in north Palm Springs. California Highway Patrol officials say Mendoza was a passenger in a 1998 BMW that rolled several times into the desert after being struck by a 2009 Mitsubishi Gallant.
The 62-year-old male driver of the BMW and two other passengers were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The 25-year-old female driver of the Mitsubishi was uninjured. Officials suspect that Mendoza was not wearing her seatbelt. An investigation is ongoing.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about 40,000 people in the United States are killed each year and about 25 percent of them are involved in rollover crashes. NHTSA also estimates that as many as 13,000 lives can be saved annually by the use of seatbelts. The chances of being killed in a motor vehicle accident are increased by 25 times if a vehicle occupant is ejected. The U.S. Department of Transportation predicts a 50 percent reduction in the number of traffic accident deaths and injuries if everyone buckles up.
Based on this news report, the circumstances of this collision are still unclear. There are still a number of unanswered questions. Who caused the crash? Who was at fault? Were alcohol or drugs involved? Did high speed, distraction or inattention cause the crash? Was Mendoza unbelted or was she ejected from the vehicle as the result of seatbelt failure? These are some of the important aspects that must be examined in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
In such cases, the at-fault driver can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses. Injured victims as well as families of deceased crash victims can seek compensation for their losses. In addition, if it is determined that Mendoza was ejected due to a defective seatbelt, the automaker and/or the manufacturer of the defective seatbelt can be held liable for the victim's wrongful death. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled auto product liability claims, specifically seatbelt defect cases, will be able to help injured victims and their families pursue their legal rights.
Quecannon Nihipali, 40, was killed in a Riverside County motorcycle crash, which officials say, occurred when he was lane splitting. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal motorcycle crash occurred on May 20, 2013 when Nihipali was riding east on the line between two lanes in slow traffic just west of Main Street. As he did so, Nihipali struck the left rear of the vehicle to the right. He was knocked off the motorcycle and run over by a semi truck with a trailer that was traveling about 15 mph. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lane splitting by motorcycles is legal only in the state of California.
Motorcycle Crashes in Riverside County
According to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one fatality and 52 injuries were reported as a result of motorcycle crashes in Corona. In Riverside County as a whole, 36 fatalities and 481 injuries were reported due to motorcycle accidents during the same year.
The Safety of Lane Splitting
Based on this news report, it appears that the motorcyclist was lane splitting when the crash occurred. CHP recently issued specific guidelines, for the first time, for those who split lanes on motorcycles. Officials warn that those who cannot split lanes safely should altogether abandon the practice. While it is legal to split lanes on a motorcycle, CHP officials say the key to safely lane splitting is speed. Officials advise that motorcyclists should lane-split no faster than 10 mph over the speed of traffic around then. They also recommend that motorcyclists not split lanes at all if the traffic is faster than 30 mph. Other motorists should also be aware that motorcyclists might be passing close by.
Potential Liability Issues
In any motorcycle accident case, it is important to look into potential causes and liability issues. If a negligent motorist caused or contributed to a crash, he or she can be held liable for the motorcyclist's wrongful death. If a product defect causes a motorcycle to crash, the manufacturer of the faulty motorcycle or part can be held liable as well. Families of deceased motorcyclists can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured motorcycle accident victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.
Diana Hanson, 24, an intern at a big cat sanctuary in Dunlap, Calif., was mauled to death by a lion on March 6, 2013. According to an ABC News report, the fatal incident occurred at the Cat Haven in Dunlap, a small town in Fresno County near Kings Canyon National Park. Officials say Hanson was inside the cat enclosure when a 4-year-old African lion named Cous Cous attacked her. It was not immediately clear what Hanson was doing inside the enclosure or what caused the attack.
'Her True Passion in Life'
Another employer unsuccessfully tried to lure the lion away from Hanson. The lion was eventually shot by a Fresno County sheriff's deputy who responded to the call. The park was closed at the time of the attack and there were no visitors inside. Hanson's father tells ABC News that his daughter loved being around large cats and that working with them was her true passion in life. Hanson trained with three tigers and a lion while in college at Western Washington State University, her father said.
Based on this news report, officials are still trying to determine what caused this attack. The lion had apparently been raised at the preserve by the owner since he was an 8-week-old cub. Employees at the reserve were also puzzled about how and why Hanson got into the lion's space.
There are several unanswered questions here. What type of security did the lion's cage have? What were policies and procedures at the sanctuary when it comes to handling the cats and stepping into the cages? Did Cat Haven have a written policy in place? Were all employees, volunteers and interns trained with regard to those safety procedures? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why. A wrongful death lawsuit is a possibility.
It is not clear if anyone's negligence played a part in Hanson's tragic death. I hope that her grieving family members and friends get answers to their questions. In such cases, it would also be in the best interests of victims' families to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the victims' and their families' rights are protected.
The Swedish car maker best known for its high commitment to safety engineering has taken its features a step further to protect those outside the vehicle as well as inside it. Volvo's 2013 V40, currently on sale in Australia, has incorporated pedestrian airbags to protect anyone hit by the car while walking, according to recent industry reports.
Why Are Pedestrian Airbags Necessary?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that of all the auto-related fatalities in 2012, 16 percent involved people not inside the car such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrian injury is a very real problem for Americans, but it is also a large problem abroad where more people walk or ride a bicycle to their destinations. The European Union passed laws about ten years ago to address this problem and provide for pedestrian safety. Due to these laws, auto makers in Europe began examining ways to manufacture cars that could prevent a pedestrian accident or at least lessen the severity if one did occur.
What Do Pedestrian Airbags Do?
Jaguar began making vehicles that utilized a pedestrian contact "sensing system" that opens the car's hood if it senses a pedestrian impact. A Dutch car company, TNO, also designed a prototype airbag that would prevent bikers from being injured in a collision.
Volvo has taken these ideas and combined them. The pedestrian detection system on Volvo's new model uses sensors to determine if a collision is imminent and automatically slows the car down. These sensors operate from the grille of the car and the back of the rearview mirror. The sensor also alerts the driver with a warning signal and light if a pedestrian appears to be in danger. The car can brake itself completely at speeds less than 21 miles per hour and can slow down significantly at speeds over that level. The automatic braking system also works to prevent collisions with other vehicles, buildings, poles or any other obstruction.
If a human leg comes into contact with the bumper of the car, the hood of the car raises and an airbag deploys in less than one second. The resulting configuration shields the windshield and front area of the car, and the raised hood dents more easily to cushion impact.
Since most fatal pedestrian accidents are related to speed, the most significant factor of this system is actually the automatic braking feature. However, if there is an impact, the airbag is designed to deploy in the areas where most pedestrian injuries occur--the windshield and hood of the car.
What Can I Do If I Suffer Injuries In A Pedestrian Accident?
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is very important that you protect your rights by consulting a pedestrian accident attorney. A pedestrian accident lawyer can explain your options and work with you to recover damages for your medical bills, your pain and suffering, and the other costs associated with your accident. It is crucial that you and your family protect yourselves from the long-term financial effects of an accident.
This Valentine's Day was special for a Georgia couple, Jennifer and Darren Ford. Jennifer, who had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash in November, was home and learning to walk. According to a Fox 5 news report, the brain injury put Jennifer in a coma. Her husband has remained by her side, learning to assist her and helping her recover. Jennifer, a mother of two, is now learning to walk and talk again.
Although she received a graduation certificate from her rehabilitation facility, she will continue her outpatient therapy, which her family hopes, will put her on the road to recovery and help her brain heal. The community has rallied around the family by helping to pay mounting medical bills and organizing a motorcycle ride to benefit the family. He husband, Darren, says that it has been a "very emotional ride" for him and his family.
Brain Injury Facts and Statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually. Brain injuries are a contributing factor in one-third or 30.5 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States. About 35.2 percent of brain injuries are caused by falls while car crashes cause about 17.3 percent of all traumatic brain injuries. Among all age groups, car accidents were the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (17.3 percent) and resulted in the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths.
A Long Road to Recovery
Brain injury victims and their families, much like the Ford family, go through an emotional rollercoaster ride. They face daunting financial challenges. Often, when a loved one suffers a brain injury, his or her spouse may have to take time off work and still figure out a way to pay everyday expenses and mounting medical and rehabilitation bills. Health insurance may not cover rehabilitation costs, which puts additional financial pressure on victims and their families. Like Jennifer Ford, many victims have to relearn a number of basic skills including walking and talking.
Compensation for Brain Injury Victims
When a brain injury is caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, injured victims and their families can seek compensation for their losses from the at-fault parties. Victims may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, loss of wages, lost future income, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.
Crystal Crawford-McClure, 28, was critically injured and lost her unborn child in a rear-end collision after the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper's car.
According to a news report in The News-Press, the rear-end accident occurred the night of February 15, 2013 on the southbound Interstate 75 near mile marker 134. Officials say Crawford-McClure was a passenger in a Jeep traveling south on the I-75. The officer's vehicle struck the Jeep's rear bumper, causing the Jeep to veer onto the grass shoulder and overturn.
The driver, Christopher McClure, suffered minor injuries. But Crawford-McClure was ejected and suffered critical injuries. Her unborn child was killed as well. A 1-year-old child also escaped with minor injuries. It is not clear if Crawford-McClure was wearing a seatbelt at the time. The News-Press reports that the trooper was not responding to a call when the crash occurred and that the lights and sirens on the patrol vehicle were not on.
What Caused the Rear-End Crash?
Rear-end crashes often result in major injury if not fatal accidents nationwide. In any rear-end accident, a number of questions must be asked. The report states that the officer was not responding to an emergency at the time. Was the driver of the striking vehicle inebriated or fatigued at the time? Was the driver distracted in some way?
In this case, was the officer talking to someone on the radio, checking his computer screen or using a cell phone? Did excessive speed play a part in this tragic crash? I trust investigators are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Fault and Liability
If the FHP officer is determined to have been at fault, both he and his employer can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages.
Injured victims or families of deceased victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced car accident attorney who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. In cases involving government employees or public agencies, it is important to remember that the statute of limitations may require victims to file claims much sooner.
Harry Holzhauer, 68, was killed in a boat accident after a 22-foot motorboat collided with the MS San Francisco, a Golden Gate ferry, carrying about 500 passengers. According to a news report in The San Francisco Chronicle, the crash occurred the afternoon of February 16, 2013 in San Francisco Bay. Holzhauer died from his injuries. A second person in the motorboat, who has not been identified, was hospitalized with serious injuries. None of the passengers in the ferry was injured. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the collision.
Hanel Lozano, 18, of Bellflower, was killed in a Buena Park crash the night of Feb. 17, 2013. The Orange County Register reports that the fatal car crash occurred on southbound Valley View Street north of La Palma Avenue. Police say the driver of a black Jeep Cherokee lost control of the vehicle and struck at least two other vehicles and then hit a tree in the median near the intersection of Valley View and La Palma. The Jeep Cherokee then overturned. Lozano was a passenger in the Jeep. Other passengers, who were between 18 and 20 years of age, had to be extricated from the vehicle. None of the other passengers in other vehicles were seriously injured. It is not known if alcohol or drugs played a part in the crash.