Kevin Wellmerling, 49, of Clearlake and two teenage girls from Cobb reportedly suffered major injuries in a head-on collision on Highway 29 near the Twin Lakes community, according to this news report. California Highway Patrol officials say a 17-year-old girl driving a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban southbound may have lost control of her vehicle after being distracted by a dropped soda can. She then crossed over to the northbound lane, colliding head-on into Wellmerling’s 1995 Pontiac Grand Am.
CHP officials say initial reports had it that the teenage driver dropped a soda can at her feet and was trying to pick it up when the auto accident occurred. But they later gathered that a 16-year-old girl, who was a passenger in the Suburban, had unbuckled her seatbelt to retrieve the can when the accident occurred. The 16-year-old suffered minor to moderate injuries while the 17-year-old driver suffered major injuries as did Wellmerling.
This is an unfortunate accident caused by a possible distraction to a young driver. Fortunately everyone survived. It could have been much worse. My best wishes for a full and complete recovery to all those involved.
According to a recent study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Co., 90 percent of teenagers said they rarely or never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But they did report a host of other in-car distractions that researchers say help make traffic accidents the number one killer of American teens with a fatality rate four times higher than drivers between ages 25 and 69. About 5,600 teenagers died in auto accidents in 2005 and about 7,500 were driving vehicles that were involved in fatal California auto accidents.
In this recent Twin Lakes auto accident, the teenage driver of the Suburban appears to be responsible for the accident; therefore she will be financially responsible, along with the owner of the Suburban and her insurance company for the injuries to Wellmerling and the 16-year-old Suburban passenger. In most every traffic collision there are a host of possible factors that could have contributed to the accident and thereby include other people, companies and governmental agencies into who may be financially liable to the injured, not-at-fault victims of the accident.
Wellmerling and the parents of the 16-year-old Suburban passenger would be well-advised to consult with an accomplished California auto accident attorney to look into this matter and advised them of their rights and options. A skilled personal injury attorney will look at all aspects of an auto accidents including other vehicles that may have been involved, mechanical malfunctions or product defects in the vehicle and dangerous conditions of the roadway that may have been contributing factors.
Most of the best Orange County personal injury attorneys will provide accident victims a free and rather compressive consultation. When searching for an attorney for an auto collision case, keep in mind that the very best attorneys and the ones on the other end of the spectrum, all charge about the same fees. And the best ones will advance costs so there is no money out of the pocket of victims to pursuer their rights.