An Interstate 5 head-on collision car accident in the city of Commerce caused by a speeding wrong-way driver caused the death of three people and seriously injured another two Orange County residents, according to a news report in The Orange County Register.
The auto accident occurred near Slauson Avenue when the wrong-way driver, identified as 27-year-old Steven Quintero of Gardena, was speeding north on the southbound lane in a Toyota Yaris. Witness’s recount that the two women killed, Arielle Estremo and Chauncy Reid, both 20, were in a Nissan Sentra passenger car that slammed into the Toyota head-on. The Nissan sedan’s remaining passengers Jeremy Beretta, 18 of Garden Grove and Jeff Cassidy, 19, of Anaheim were taken to a local hospital.
This is of course one of those incidents that is just incredibly heartbreaking for everyone concerned – Quintero’s family, the families of the deceased women and the families of the injured victims. Our sympathies are with the families at this tragic time.
As one of southern California’s most experienced auto accident attorneys, we know wrong way drivers have become frighteningly common on Southland freeways and that some of the common reasons for these types of car crashes are either the involvement of drugs or alcohol or a suicidal, mentally disillusioned or disturbed driver. In this instance, the driver who caused the accident is himself dead. The newspaper article states that officials cannot say for sure if anyone was wearing seatbelts given the impact of the accident and the condition of the vehicles and the investigators don’t know yet why or how Quintero’s auto ended up traveling the wrong way. It would be interesting to see if the accident was caused even in part by poor freeway signage. In such a case Caltrans could be held responsible. Action would have to be taken however, within a 180-day window as a result of a the statute of limitations.
Sadly, the end result of head-on accidents like this one is invariably severe personal injury and death. The families of those involved who are seeking answers to the cause of the accident and to understand who should be held responsible should definitely consider hiring a reputed Orange County car accident attorneys with a wealth of local case experience.