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La Canada Big Rig Accident – Caltrans’ Liability

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For months the city of La Canada-Flintridge sought Caltrans’ help to stop runaway truck accidents, but their plea fell on deaf ears, the local newspaper La Canada Valley Sun reports. The community newspaper dug up articles from its archives and found that the problem of runaway trucks on the Angeles Crest Highway is not a new problem. It’s always been there and over the last several months, city officials made desperate verbal and written pleas to ban trucks on the highway and post warning signs, but Caltrans basically ignored them.

On April first Angel Posca and his 12-year-old daughter Angelina Posca, were killed after their car was struck by a runaway big rig that lost its brakes and was barreling down the Angeles Crest Highway. The most recent event before the one on April 1 took place the morning of September 5, 2008 when an identical truck crash destroyed seven vehicles and injured a man. The La Canada Valley Sun’s editorial staff researched the 62-year-old paper’s bound archives and found many similar incidents dating back to 1951! It wasn’t until after the April 1, 2009 fatal truck accident that Caltrans issued a temporary order banning trucks on the Angeles Crest Highway.

Our firm has received several calls and is representing one of the injured victims of this accident. We believe that this is a claim against Caltrans and they should be held liable for this horrible tragedy and the losses and damages suffered as a result – especially by the Posca family.

According to California Government Code section 835, a governmental agency is liable for an injury or death caused because of a dangerous condition on a roadway under its maintenance if:

  • A dangerous condition existed
  • If the governmental agency knew about such a dangerous condition
  • The governmental agency did nothing to correct or fix the problem
  • The problem could have been fixed at a reasonable time and expense

In this case, Caltrans, which is a state governmental agency, has been responsible for maintaining and has jurisdiction over the Angeles Crest Highway. A highly dangerous condition has existed on that roadway for more than half a century, according to the community newspaper. Neighbors know about. City officials have repeatedly complained to Caltrans about it. But Caltrans did nothing. In less than 24 hours after the fatal truck accident, Caltrans issued the order banning trucks on that roadway. That was all the time it took for them to remedy the situation. Had they done it years ago or even months ago, a father and his daughter would have been alive today. This makes me mad as &*%$!!

There is no question in my mind that Caltrans should be held accountable for what happened to the Poscas and the other victims who were injured. Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys would be more than happy to provide a free consultation to the Posca family or anyone else who was seriously injured in this La Canada truck crash. We provide free, comprehensive and confidential consultations to all injured victims and/or their families.

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