July 2008 Archives

July 30, 2008

Two Killed, 16 Injured In Missouri Tractor Trailer Accident

Two people died and 16 were injured after a tractor trailer traveling at a high rate of speed slammed into the back of a 15-passenger van and plowed into several other vehicles on eastbound Highway 40 in Town and Country, Missouri. Killed in the truck crash were Lydia Miller, 55 of Canton and Charles K. Cason, 55, of Caseyville. Miller was a passenger in the 15-passenger van traveling with other members of her Amish community to a funeral. Cason was traveling in a passenger car.

Sixteen people, ranging from 5 to 88, were injured and a total of 11 vehicles were involved in the pile-up triggered by the tractor trailer, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Officials say the truck driver barreled through the stop and go traffic and eyewitnesses say he may have been traveling at 75 mph at the time of the accident. The local law enforcement agency and prosecutor are considering filing charges against the truck driver, Jeffrey R. Knight, 49, who reportedly works for Holmes Transportation, according to an earlier article.

My deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and wish the injured victims a speedy recovery.

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July 29, 2008

Four Dead, One Severely Injured In Bakersfield Auto Accident

Four people died in a two-car collision near Bakersfield after one of the drivers failed to stop at a stop sign and crashed into another vehicle, according to a news report in the Bakersfield Californian. Among those who died in the accident were Alfredo Badillo Guzman, 41; Felipe De J. Granados, 31 ; Almadelia Ramirez, 18, all of Wasco; and a 14-year-old girl teenagers, whose name was not released.

According to California Highway Patrol officials, Ramirez along with two other girls, ages 13 and 14, was driving a Toyota Camry west of West Tulare Avenue. Ramirez ran the stop sign and struck Granados’ Ford pickup truck, which crashed into a power pole.
Ramirez failed to stop at a posted stop sign at the intersection with Wasco Avenue, the CHP said. The 14-year-old girl suffered major injuries in the auto accident.

According to CHP statistics, there were 169 fatalities and 3,890 injuries in traffic accidents in Kern County in 2006. In Bakersfield alone there were 36 fatalities and 1,256 injuries.

My condolences to the families of the deceased. Please keep the injured in your prayers.

According to this news report, initial investigations show that this fatal auto accident was caused by Ramirez, who ran a stop sign and struck Granados’ truck. The Guzman and Granados would be well-advised to consult with a highly skilled and reputable auto accident attorney who can help them investigate the accident and examine if there were any other factors that caused the crash such as another vehicle or a dangerous road condition. An experienced personal injury attorney would also look into whether the stop sign was visible from where Ramirez was entering the intersection.

If it is finally determined that Ramirez caused the California car crash, then the victims’ families are entitled to compensation from Ramirez’s most likely through her auto insurance. If Ramirez did not have insurance or did not have sufficient insurance, then Granados and/or Guzman’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage should help compensate them for their injuries and loss.

July 25, 2008

Motorcycle Accident Fatalities Hit A New Peak In The Marine Corps

Twenty U.S. Marines have died in motorcycle accidents since Oct. 1 making this year the deadliest on record in spite of the Corps’ attempts to reduce motorcycle accident fatalities among Marines. According to an article in the Marine Corps Times, the recent death of Gunnery Sgt. Michael Hoffman in New York exceeded the previous total of 19 motorcycle accident fatalities the Corps recorded in 2007 and marks the fifth two-wheeler accident death just this month.

Hoffman died after the 2007 Honda motorcycle he was driving hit a curb, throwing him and his passenger, a 23-year-old woman, off the motorcycle. Neither he or his passenger were not wearing helmets. Marine Corps officials have been emphasizing the importance of safety gear and training. The Corps’ policy requires Marines to wear helmets and other protective gear while riding. This requirement is part of a new, stiffer private motor vehicle and motorcycle safety regulations announced earlier this year. But these new rules have apparently done little to stop the rash of motorcycle accident deaths and injuries in the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps is now planning to add more courses and more instructors for these training programs that include more basic rider safety courses. Two-wheelers – be it powerful motorcycles, scooters or sport bikes – need to be handled with a great deal of caution. It is indeed a tragedy that our young Marines have perished in these unnecessary motorcycle accidents. Some of them may have been prevented had they been wearing the appropriate safety gear or had been trained to ride safely and defensively.

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July 24, 2008

Fatal Ramona DUI Accident Brings Manslaughter Charges

Shannon Kelly Shimp, a 35-year-old El Cajon man has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving in a North San Diego County auto accident that killed 19-year-old Ian Kinney of Julian and Joseph Warren Edwards, 52, of Ramona. According to this news report, the fatal crash occurred on State Route 78 east of Magnolia Avenue in Ramona when the 1998 Chevrolet flatbed truck driven by Shimp veered into a westbound lane and rammed into an oncoming 1996 Lexus ES300.

The accident killed Kinney, the driver of the BMW and Edwards, who was a passenger in Shimp’s vehicle. Kinney’s 18-year-old girlfriend, identified as Tessa, was airlifted to an area hospital with serious injuries, California Highway Patrol officials said. Eyewitnesses told officials that Shimp was trying to pass a vehicle in an unsafe manner when the collision happened.

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July 24, 2008

Ripon Van Rollover Accident Leaves 2 Dead, 5 Injured

A Merced man has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter after two people died in a van rollover accident on the Highway 99 in Ripon. According to an article in the Modesto Bee, 21-year-old Ambrosio Martinez was driving a 1999 Chevy Astro van without a license. Martinez reportedly attempted to cross over from the middle lane to the Jack Tone exit when he collided with a tractor-trailer.

The van hit the big-rig , turned on its side and began to roll. Two people, Garbriela Santiago, 20, and Melicio S. Calisto, 26, who were passengers in the van died. Four others, including the driver, have major injuries. Three van passengers -- Arellano Ramirez, 27; Luisa J. Garcia, 27; and Agapito Peralta, 21 – suffered severe head trauma, California Highway Patrol officials said. Officials also say six of the van’s occupants were not buckled up. One passenger, Eusebio M. Lopez, 33, of Merced, was reportedly wearing a seatbelt and was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Jose L. Ramirez, 34, of Lemoore, who was driving the big-rig, was uninjured.

I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who were killed in this horrible accident. I’d be curious to know if the people in this van were headed to work, were van-pooling or if they were part of a community group. It is regrettable that most of the passengers were not buckled up. The fact that the one passenger who wore his seatbelt escaped with a scratch shows that seat belts do save lives. That passenger, Lopez, should however get checked out in the hospital to make sure he hasn’t suffered any internal injuries as a result of the RIpon van rollover accident.

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July 23, 2008

Fatal San Diego Motorcycle Accident Kills Two

William C. “Bill” Mesa, 57, and his daughter-in-law, 29-year-old Crystal Roberts-Mesa, died in a San Diego County motorcycle accident in Jamul after Mesa lost control of his Harley-Davidson and crashed into a power pole, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The motorcycle accident occurred on Lyons Valley Road, a quarter mile east of Skyline Truck trail.

I offer my deepest condolences to the Mesa family, which lost two of its members in this tragic accident.

California Highway Patrol Officer, Rob Sanchez said alcohol may have been a factor. But Mesa’s wife of 31 years, Cheryl Mesa, says that her husband and daughter-in-law only had a few beers during a family gathering, that he was not intoxicated and that it was unlike her husband to lose control of his motorcycle. She and other family members believe that a car, animal or some other dangerous condition on the roadway may have caused Bill Mesa to swerve. Toxicology tests are pending.

Based upon Cheryl Mesa’s belief that her husband was an excellent rider and it wasn’t like him to lose control, she should have the bike examined by experts. Evidence of something that may have come in contact with the bike may tell a story of what caused this accident. There is also the possibility of a mechanical malfunction or debris on the roadway.

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July 21, 2008

Bicyclist Killed In Riverside Metrolink Railroad Accident

Perry Lee Scott, 52, of Riverside, was struck down and killed by an eastbound Metrolink train when he crossed the tracks on his bicycle in Riverside, according to an article in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Riverside Police Sgt. Dan Hoxmeier said in an earlier article that Scott was crossing the track at the Magnolia Avenue crossing near Merrill Avenue. An eyewitness told Hoxmeier that he saw Scott on the track and the train hitting him an instant later.

My deepest condolences to Scott’s family and friends. This Riverside bicycle accident doesn’t make sense. What the heck could have happened that Scott did not see the train coming.

Going by this article, this crossing has a warning light, but it is not clear whether it was working. There doesn’t appear to be a crossing arm. Based on eyewitness reports, it appears that Mr. Scott did not have much of a warning before crossing at the tracks and it caught him off guard.

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July 20, 2008

Woman Killed In Accident Involving Two Big Rigs

Melissa Sandoval, 28, died in a big-rig accident on the 15 Freeway in Utah after her northbound car was struck twice and forced into a median by a big rig truck, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Sandoval’s car then rammed into the rear trailer of a southbound semi tanker rig.

Utah County police have arrested the truck driver, 43-year-old Marcus Winzer of Los Angeles, on suspicion of reckless endangerment. Winzer was the driver of the northbound big rig truck that forced Sandoval’s car into the median. The driver of the southbound semi tanker rig, who has not been identified, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

My condolences to the Sandoval family and her friends. Nothing can make up for such a tragic loss. The news article did not mention if she was married, had children or was supporting a parent. Other than a lawsuit there isn’t much the family can do but hope that the Utah judicial system prosecutes the truck driver appropriately and fully.

In 2006, almost 5,000 people in the United States died in large truck accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) statistics. More than 40 percent of those accidents were the fault of the truck drivers’ negligence such as reckless driving, driving under the influence, falling asleep at the wheel or distracted driving. In almost all big rig accidents, the occupants of the passenger vehicles tend to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries because of the size and weight of these large commercial trucks. Some of these vehicles weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

In a case where it is proved that the big rig accident was caused by the truck driver’s negligence, both the truck driver and the trucking company will be held responsible for the accident, injuries, deaths and damages. Victims and their families will be entitled to compensation in these cases.

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July 18, 2008

Santa Rosa Man Killed In Pickup Truck Accident

Monty McClane, 70, of Santa Rosa died after he was run over twice by a man who was backing up a pickup truck out of a business driveway, according to this news report .

McLane was walking on the sidewalk when he crossed the driveway in front of Gardeners Aid at 1050 Sebastopol Road. He was hit by 67-year-old Gerald Day, who was backing out of the parking lot in a Ford F-250 pickup truck. Apparently Day thought he had hit a curb the first time and began to pull forward striking McClane a second time, California Highway Patrol officers said. Day told officers that he did not see McLane at all when he was backing out. The fatal truck accident is under investigation although officials say that alcohol was not a factor.

I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Monty McLane. The man was simply walking down the sidewalk and gets hit by a truck. Let us all take a lesson from McLane’s accident to be aware and alert, even when we are just walking down the street on the sidewalk.

There are a number of unanswered questions in this incident. Why did. Day not see McLane coming? Was there anything loaded in the truck that was blocking his view behind him? Did he have his rear-view and side-view mirrors in place? Was there a problem with the truck or its brakes and did it have any other type of mechanical failure? All these questions must be answered before forming any opinion as to “Why?”

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July 17, 2008

Seven Men Die In Fresno County Truck Accident

Six farm workers who were traveling in a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle and a septic truck driver died after their vehicles collided in rural Fresno County and plunged into a canal. According to an Associated Press news report , those who died were identified as Luis Perez, 45; Eulalia Garcia, 34; Isaac Tapia, 16; Adan Martinez, 22; and Elizar Cruz, 19. Perez, who was driving the septic truck at the time of the Fresno auto accident, was from Merced, and the others were Lodi residents.

California Highway Patrol officials, who are still investigating the cause of the horrific crash, said both drivers and the Explorer’s right front passenger were wearing seat belts. The SUV was apparently taking six laborers from an orchard south of Westley back home to Lodi. Perez was working for United Site Services Inc. which owns the septic truck involved in a crash and was on the job.

I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the farm workers as well as Perez. This is a heart breaking incident. Men simply doing what they do, working to support their families, on the way back from a day’s work wind up dying in a fatal Fresno truck accident.

It is too early at this point to tell who is to blame for this SUV accident. According to CHP’s statistics, there were 133 fatal traffic accidents in Fresno County in 2006. If investigators determine that Perez was at fault, the victims’ families could be entitled to compensation from Perez’s employer. On the other hand, if the driver of the Explorer was determined to have been at fault, then his insurance would likely compensate Perez’s family and the families of his passengers.

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July 17, 2008

Fresno County Truck Accident Leaves 7 Men Dead

Six farm workers who were traveling in a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle and a septic truck driver died in a rural Fresno County commercial truck accident after their vehicles collided and plunged into a canal. According to an Associated Press news report, those who died were identified as Luis Perez, 45; Eulalia Garcia, 34; Isaac Tapia, 16; Adan Martinez, 22; and Elizar Cruz, 19. Perez, who was driving the septic truck, was from Merced, and the others were Lodi residents.

California Highway Patrol officials, who are still investigating the cause of the horrific crash, said both drivers and the Explorer’s right front passenger were wearing seat belts. The SUV was apparently taking six laborers from an orchard south of Westley back home to Lodi. Perez was working for United Site Services Inc. which owns the septic truck involved in the crash and was on the job.

I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the farm workers as well as Perez. This is a heart breaking incident. Men simply doing what they do, working to support their families, on the way back from a day’s work wind up dying in a traffic accident.

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July 16, 2008

Fatal Hacienda Heights Auto Accident On The 60 Freeway

Los Angeles County Police Lt. Gilbert Valderrama and an 18-year-old man died in a Hacienda Heights auto accident on the 60 Freeway on Wednesday, July 9th. The off-duty police officer’s sport utility vehicle slammed into Ryan Steven Blakeslee killing the teen who had just gotten out of a stalled vehicle, according to a CBS news report.

The 55-year-old police officer was ejected from the car and both he and Blakeslee were pronounced dead at the scene, California Highway Patrol Officer David Porter said.

Apparently, the 18-year-old had stepped out of a stalled minivan probably to get help when the accident occurred. I offer my condolences to both families.

This incident highlights the importance of being careful on the freeway especially if your vehicle stalls. It is best to exit your vehicle, if you can do so safely, if you are stalled on the freeway. Once you exit, it is best to get completely away from the vehicle. Every year, there are numerous deaths and serious injuries caused by a stalled or parked vehicle being hit and pushed into one of its occupants.

The news reports do not provide enough information to form an opinion as to fault. My preliminary sense of this case is that Valderrama will be found to be liable for the death of young Blakeslee. I am always concerned about bias in police reports when a peace officer is involved. For this reason and the obvious reasons of just knowing what their rights and options are, Blakeslee’s family would be well served consulting with a personal injury attorney who has the skill to take on a challenging personal injury case, which this may very well be.

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July 16, 2008

Alameda County Hit-and-Run Victim Dies

Police are trying to piece together the circumstances of a hit-and-run pedestrian auto accident in Alameda County, which killed 72-year-old George Marceline, a beloved Oakland Raiders fan. According to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, a green 1997 Jeep Cherokee driven by Dionisio Roxas Molina, 36, hopped the curb and hit several objects on the sidewalk as well as Marceline but did not stop at the scene of the accident.

Police say Molina did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol, but that he may have been under the influence of drugs. Molina on the other hand told investigators that he has no recollection of the accident at all. He was found parked in his SUV in the driver’s seat in the area. According to the Alameda County Coroner’s office, Marceline died of blunt force trauma.

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July 15, 2008

Temecula Head-on Collision Kills Three, Driver Flees

California Highway Patrol (CHP) investigators are looking for a hit-and-run driver who they say killed a Winchester family of three after crashing head-on into their car near Lake Skinner. According to an article in The Californian, the tragic car accident killed 48-year-old Andres San Augustin, his wife, Maribeth Pagaspas San Augustin and 4-year-old son, Angelo.

Andres San Augustin was northbound on Warren, near the entrance to the Lake Skinner Recreation Area when the truck collision happened. Ron Thatcher, a CHP spokesman said the suspect driver, who was in a 2007 GMC pickup, crossed over the double yellow lines on Warren Road and crashed into the family’s 1991 Chevrolet Malibu. Someone else helped the hit-and-run driver escape from the scene of the accident, officials say. The couple reportedly died on the scene while their son died an hour later in an area hospital.

My heart goes out to the family of these victims.

The hit-and-run driver, who caused this California auto accident, must be apprehended and brought to justice. If you saw this accident or know something about it, please contact us. You should also call the Temecula CHP office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. week days at 951-506-2000.

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July 15, 2008

Fatal Hacienda Heights Auto Accident On The 60 Freeway

Los Angeles County Police Lt. Gilbert Valderrama and an 18-year-old man died in a Hacienda Heights car crash on the 60 Freeway on Wednesday, July 9th. The off-duty police officer’s sport utility vehicle slammed into Ryan Steven Blakeslee killing the teen who had just gotten out of a stalled vehicle, according to a CBS news report.

The 55-year-old police officer was ejected from the car and both he and Blakeslee were pronounced dead at the scene, California Highway Patrol Officer David Porter said.

Apparently, the 18-year-old had stepped out of a stalled minivan probably to get help when the accident occurred. I offer my condolences to both families.

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July 14, 2008

Fatal Bus Accident Caused By Confusing Signage in Ohio

National Transportation Safety Board investigators say that confusing highway signs and driver error primarily caused a fatal bus accident in Atlanta, which killed seven people last year. The bus accident killed five members of the Bluffton University baseball team. They were on their way from Ohio to Florida. The five team members, driver Jerome Niemayer and his wife died on I-75 in Atlanta when the bus couldn’t stop and plunged 19 feet to the road below

Investigators also blamed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to implement its 1999 recommendations to require seat belts in motor coach buses, according to a UPI news report. Officials say Niemayer was at fault to some extent because he wasn’t following the “confusing signs” and did not slow as he drove up the high occupancy vehicle lane ramp, which he thought was a through lane.

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July 14, 2008

$6.9 Million Los Angeles Jury Award To Brain-Injured Woman

Sandra Griffin, 45, of Compton has been awarded $6.9 million by a Los Angeles jury as compensation for a severe brain injury she suffered in a 2006 auto accident when she was broadsided by a speeding LAPD squad car. According to a news article in the Los Angeles Times, LAPD Officer Scotty Stevens was doing 51 mph in a 35-mph zone on Imperial Highway in South Los Angeles without lights or sirens on and hit Griffin’s parked car as he swerved to avoid another vehicle.

Griffin, who was in the vehicle at the time of the crash, suffered severe injuries. She was in a coma for a week and had severe injuries to her skull, hip, spleen and lungs. As a result of her brain injury she went from being a single mother who was taking care of her two daughters and elderly parents, to someone who needs to be cared for 24/7.

The Brain Injury Society defines Traumatic Brain Injury as an insult to the brain caused by a direct blow to the skull via a closed or open head injury. It can be caused by motor vehicle incidents, bullet wounds, physical assaults, physical battering, shaken baby syndrome, domestic violence, falls, sports and recreation injuries. An estimated 5.3 million Americans, little more than 2% of the US population currently live with disabilities resulting from brain injury.

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July 13, 2008

L.A. Sheriff Arrested For DUI After Causing Serious Orange County Auto Accident

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after causing a serious injury car accident in Garden Grove on June 29 according to a report in the Mercury News (http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_9837766). Robert Moran, who has worked for the sheriff’s department for 18 years, was reportedly on his way to an investigation in Huntington Beach, when he ran a red light and crashed his sheriff department’s Chevy Trailblazer into a 1999 Mazda Protégé at the intersection of Beach and Garden Grove boulevards according to the LA Times.

Elias Aldana, 37-years-old and his passenger in the car suffered serious injuries. Aldana’s injuries are said to be “life-threatening”. Let’s hope the best for Aldana and his passenger.

Moran was been arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence after a Garden Grove police officer on the scene “detected alcohol on his breath”. Moran was released after posting bail, but has been put on administrative leave by his department pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. I applaud the Garden Grove police officer for doing the right thing instead of hiding Moran’s alleged intoxication behind the “badge of silence”.

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July 11, 2008

Gorman Truck Accident Kills DUI Driver

Erik, Galdamez, a 29-year-old Long Beach man died in an auto accident in Gorman when the pickup truck he was driving crashed into another truck on State Route 138 east of Gorman, the Los Angeles Times reports. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials believe Galdamez was attempting to make an unsafe pass and may have been driving under the influence at the time of the accident.

Galdamez was reportedly driving eastbound on Route 138 near 300th Street West when he moved to the westbound land to pass a big rig. An oncoming pickup truck tried to slow down and move to the right to avoid a collision, but Galdamez did not react. Galdamez sustained fatal injuries but the driver of the other pickup and his two passengers were not injured.

This accident was obviously the driver’s fault based on CHP reports. He was not only driving under the influence, but was driving on the wrong side of the highway. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is the leading cause of traffic accidents in the United States. Just in California, there have been over 1400 deaths and nearly 21,000 injuries for the year 2006. These numbers have been increasing since 2000 according the data from CHP. In this case, the DUI driver died, but often innocent victims die or are severely injured because of drunk drivers.

July 10, 2008

Back-to-Back Car Accidents Critically Injure San Francisco DUI Women

Two California auto accidents, including one rear-end crash happened in San Francisco within a span of seven minutes and were caused by two women driving drunk with suspended licenses, according to the San Mateo County Times.

45-year-old Lillian Robinson and 38-year-old Cynthia Dunn, both of San Francisco, suffered internal bleeding and major head injuries when their car crashed into a wooden retaining wall on Orange Avenue close to Almond Avenue. South San Francisco police Sgt. Joni Lee said it was the second accident for the women, both in a 1992 Lexus coupe. Robinson had first rear-ended a truck at a traffic light on West Orange Avenue near El Camino Real. The truck driver called police and reported that the women didn’t stop and left the scene of the accident after being “verbally abusive” to him. Robinson switched places with Dunn who took the wheel before crashing the car into the retaining wall.

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July 10, 2008

City of Industry Big Rig Accident Kills Norwalk Man

Julio Alas, 42 of Norwalk was killed and his passenger, 40-year-old Salvador Pena of Los Angeles, suffered serious injuries in a City of Industry big-rig rollover accident on the 60 Freeway on July 4th according to a Pasadena Star News article. The fatal truck accident occurred east of Fairway Drive, according to California Highway Patrol Officer D. Hogge.

Alas was driving his big-rig in the No. 3 lane when a 1991 Toyota pickup truck driven by 47-year-old May Figueroa of La Puenta suddenly made an unsafe turning movement directly into the path of Alas’ big-rig. While Figueroa and her passenger, Antoinette Monroy, 49, of La Puente, only suffered minor injuries, the big rig caught on fire. Figueroa is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail although it is not clear on what charges she is being held.

My condolences go to the family and friends of Mr. Alas. It appears that the accident was not his fault and that he was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. His family and Salvador Pena have substantial workers’ compensation rights as well as “third party” rights against the driver of the Toyota, assuming that Figueroa is responsible for this California auto accident.

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July 9, 2008

California Motorcycle Accidents On The Rise

Our readers have probably noticed the increased attention media has been giving motorcycle users now and linking this activity to higher fuel costs and a greater number of accidents, among other things. A recent study by the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA) () confirms what many industry safety experts have long suspected about motorcycle accidents - motorcycle fatalities in the United States increased in 2006 for the ninth straight year roughly doubling over the last decade. In 1997, there were 2,110 fatalities connected with motorcycle accidents and that number climbed up to 4810 in 2006.

There is also another alarming trend. The injury accidents and fatal accidents are not only happening in the states traditionally associated with a high number of motorcycles and consequently, more accidents such as California, Texas and Florida. But the high number of motorcycle accident deaths is turning out to be part of a trend nationwide.

There are many factors that may have contributed to this trend. Motorcycles have become a part of popular culture in the United States. Celebrities, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, ride motorcycles. They are also becoming a popular mode of transport for baby boomers and for many others now, who have traded their gas-guzzling cars and sport utility vehicles for motorcycles, which are highly fuel efficient.

In 2007, GHSA asked State highway safety agencies to complete a survey detailing motorcycle safety activities in 2004, 2005 and 2006 designed to reverse the growing rate of motorcycle accidents. GHSA's survey findings are startling.

First, the survey found that in each of the states the responsibility for motorcycle safety programs rests with different agencies including local law enforcement, state police and state departments of education, motor vehicles, transportation and so on. The survey also revealed that training and educating motorcycle owners continues to be a challenge for the states due to the sudden spurt in ownership

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July 7, 2008

Fatal Dump Truck Accident Kills 1, Injures 4 in New York City

A commercial dump truck overloaded with dirt was careening out of control in Manhattan when the dump truck struck a bus, sending the bus crashing into a storefront, killing 57-year-old Lai Ho of Brooklyn and injuring at least four others, the New York Times reports. Officials are still trying to determine what caused the dump truck to go out of control, but say that the big rig, owned by CPQ Freight System in Rutherford, N. J., was loaded beyond its capacity with dirt.

Officials also say the truck driver, 54-year-old Alejandro Fallo, and the CPQ Freight System dump truck shouldn’t have been on that road in the first place because of numerous prior safety violations. Fallo successfully passed a Breathalyzer test.

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