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Mojave Desert Rollover Crash Kills Teenager


Jesse Farmer, 16, of La Mesa, was killed and four others were injured on December 16, 2008 along a remote highway in the Mojave Desert. The fatal rollover accident occurred on Highway 127 about 38 miles north of Baker. Farmer was apparently ejected from the rear seat and later died in an area hospital. Our source for this blog was this report in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

My heart goes out to the family of young Jesse Farmer and the families of the other young people in the car who were injured. This is obviously any parent’s nightmare. Please keep Jesse’s family in your prayers as well as the others who are recovering from their injuries. I offer my deepest condolences to the Farmer family and wish the other victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Rollover accidents cause about 10,000 fatalities annually in the United States, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That number amounts to one-fourth or 25 percent of all auto accident fatalities in the country. A lot of these accidents occur because of inherently unstable vehicles that overturn even at lower speeds. In this particular fatal rollover crash, California Highway Patrol officials say that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed. I would also be curious to find out whether the vehicle’s occupants were wearing seatbelts.

According to the news report, Jesse Farmer was ejected from the rear seat and died from his injuries. I If the newspaper report is accurate, it seems to me that none of the other occupants were ejected. If I were the attorney representing the Farmers, I would want to find out whether Jesse’s seatbelt failed, causing him to get ejected from the vehicle. Seatbelt defects are unfortunately too common and are particularly known to occur during rollover collisions.

A seatbelt system can fail in many ways. An alarming number of “side release” belts are prone to false latching and many “end release belts” are prone to unlatching during auto accidents. Our firm has seen numerous cases of restraint system failure involving seatbelt mounts, buckles, webbing and grabbers. Traffic investigators often times tend to assume that the driver or vehicle occupant was not wearing their seatbelt if they were ejected from a vehicle during a crash. But an expert looking for signs of seatbelt use will be able to confirm or correct such an assumption. I would urge Jesse Farmer’s family as well as the other injured victims to consult a reputed Southern California auto accident attorney instead of taking the investigating agency’s word for it.

A skilled auto product defect attorney will also have the body of the ejected person carefully examined for evidence of seatbelt bruising and marking. They would also test the webbing microscopically for marks, blood stains or other indicators that would prove that the seatbelt was in use at the time of the accident.

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  • Elliott Morgan

    two other along with jesse were ejected out of the vehicle and none of them were wearing seat belts.

  • Andrea Rivera

    This is very sad, I knew Jesse and hearing this is like a bad dream. Unfortunatley his mother cannot afford to bring his body back to La Mesa. He deserrves more than what this world showed him.

  • David Brown

    I am the 18 year old that was in the passenger seat front of this car accident and want to clarify that jesse was one of 3 that were ejected from the car (all in the rear and all were not wearing seatbelts at the times)…Jesse was like a brother to all of us and is truly sad and hard to handle the fact that he is actually gone..The other 2 that were ejected include Michael Lattman (18) and Cole Sheely (17).Michael Lattman is still in the Hospital in Las Vegas and suffered a ruptured spleen some instentinal failure a broken left femur and a partial bone was broken off the neck.Cole is still in the hopital as well and suffered a fractured skull and fractures in two parts of his back along with massive amounts of road rash on his back where he apparently landed on from being ejected.I personally suffered a ruptured spleen and kidney and broken left lower leg but have luckily been able to get out of the hospital and be with my family again.The Farmer Family does desperatly need donations in order to get his body all the way to San Diego where they can have his service but at the moment do not have the money. If there is any way anybody can help with the donations please come in contact with the family at their house phone at 619-461-2253…Thank you all very much and may our prayers be with Jesse and his family.


    jesse i love you i miss you… you were my best friend i would give anything to have you back!!! you rin my prayers.. along with mikey david, cole and tyler..

  • Candy Rivera

    Jesse needs to be brought home to San Diego and deserves a proper service. If you or anyone you know can help please contact (619) 303-6279 and ask for Candy. I will make sure the information gets to his family. You will always be missed little brother. Rest in peace Jesse Farmer.

  • Chelsey Lollis

    rip Jesse Farmer, you will always be remembered. you changed so many peoples lives and are one to never be forgotten. David Brown, Michael Lattman, Cole Sheely and Tyler Moody, everyone is here for you and you mean the world to so many people. stay up. stay strong. we all love you.

  • misty

    R.I.P jessie farmer may u rest in peace when I herd u were gone I couldent beleave it my mom told me and I started 2 cry u were like a brother 2 me and I’m gunna miss u so much I still can’t beleave ure gone its been 5 years and ure still in my parys may u rest in peace u were like a brother 2 me love u jessie farmer <3

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