Jacob Rabant, 43, of Placentia, died Sunday of injuries he suffered in an SUV rollover accident on the 55 Freeway over a week ago, The Orange County Register reports. A second vehicle may have been involved in the accident, which police say was a “non contact hit-and-run.” This essentially means that the other vehicle and its driver, who authorities are looking for, ran Rabant off the road.
The accident occurred on Sept. 13 when Rabant was driving on the southbound lanes of the 55 Freeway. He lost control of his SUV just south of Nohl Ranch Road, California Highway Patrol officials said. The vehicle crashed into the center divider and rolled over. Emergency personnel had to cut through the vehicle to get Rabant out. He was taken to an area hospital where he died about a week later.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Jacob Rabant for their tragic loss.
This is an unusual case because we don’t often see fatal incidents where the hit-and-run does not involve any contact. It is quite possible that the driver who caused this accident was not even aware that he or she had run someone off the freeway. But then again, they may have seen Rabant go off the road and simply fled the scene because they knew they would be held responsible for it. I trust CHP officials who are investigating this case will determine the facts soon so the Rabant family can get some closure.
I would also suggest that the family of Jacob Rabant consult with a truly experienced Orange County car accident attorney to conduct an independent investigation. Law enforcement rarely has the manpower or the resources to follow up on these types of cases. The family should retain an attorney who has extensive experience dealing with SUV rollover accidents. Such a lawyer will use his or her resources to comb the vehicle for signs of roof crush, seatbelt, seat back or other product defects commonly found in may SUV models.
If I were a member of the Rabant family I’d want to know for sure that the vehicle he was driving did everything to protect him in the crash. I advise the family to preserve the SUV in its damaged condition so experts can examine it for any inherent defect, mechanical malfunction and other evidence.