Ismael Munoz, 62, and his son Ismael Navarro Jr., 37, were killed in a Kern County car accident after they were struck by a sport utility vehicle. The car accident occurred while they were changing a tire on their car on the right shoulder of the Highway 99 near Lerdo. According to an ABC News report, Munoz and Navarro were struck May 10, 2009 by a southbound SUV whose driver apparently lost control and veered into the right shoulder of the highway.
Munoz was pronounced dead at the scene whereas Navarro died on the way to an area hospital. A passenger in the SUV accident, driven by Pedro Soto of Los Angeles, was ejected and suffered major personal injuries as well. California Highway Patrol officials said Soto had consumed alcohol earlier in the day, but was not driving under the influence at the time of the car crash.
My heart goes out to the family of Ismael Munoz and Ismael Navarro, who were tragically killed in this highway car crash. I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved them, especially the family that is grieving the loss of its two beloved members. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol's 2007 traffic accident statistics, there were 142 fatalities and 3,615 injuries as a result of car accidents in Kern County. Statistics also show that 42 deaths and 507 injuries in Kern County in 2007 were caused by alcohol-related traffic accidents.
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the SUV, Pedro Soto, is at fault for this fatal car accident. This may have happened due to several reasons. Soto may have been distracted at the time of the car crash. There may have been some type of mechanical malfunction in the SUV. If I were a member of the victims' family, I would want to know the exact cause for this fatal car collision and also if there was any negligence involved.
The family in this case should retain the services of experienced California personal injury attorneys, who will verify whether Soto was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. Skilled car accident attorneys will also look into whether other factors such as a dangerous condition on the highway could have contributed to this fatal crash. Knowledgeable accident attorneys should also advise the family if they are eligible for compensation through the uninsured/underinsured clause of the family car insurance policies. This may be necessary in the event Soto is uninsured or does not carry sufficient insurance.