Steven Alex Sanchez, 19, died and three others were injured in an Los Angeles County car accident the night of June 23, 2009 after their car veered off a mountain road in the Angeles National Forest, CBS News reports. The fatal car crash occurred at mile marker 23 of San Gabriel Canyon Road near Highway 39 as a Ford Mustang went off the rural road and over a cliff. Two other occupants in the car suffered moderate injuries and apparently had to be rescued. The injured victims were transported to an area hospital.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Steven Alex Sanchez for their tragic loss. My heart goes out to them as well as the other injured victims. I wish those injured the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/pdf/2007-sec8.pdf), there were 260 deaths and 27,110 injuries involving car accidents in the city of Los Angeles. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 712 fatalities and 56,745 injuries were reported as a result of car accidents in 2007.
In any car accident, especially if it is a solo car accident, it is very important to determine whether it was driver error or mechanical problems that caused the crash. In this particular case, it is important to look into the presence of any dangerous road conditions at that location, which may have caused the driver to go off the road. If I were a member of the Sanchez’s family, I would also look into whether a mechanical malfunction or auto product defect in the Mustang caused it to go off the road. Examples of auto product defects that could cause a driver to lose control include tire defects or lack of steering control.
In such car crashes, it is crucial to get all the facts. It would be in the best interest of the Sanchez’s family and the other injured victims to get the advice of experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys who are well-versed with auto product defect cases and have had success with dangerous roadway cases. Skilled personal injury attorneys will be able to determine whether a dangerous condition on that rural road owing to lack of proper maintenance, caused or contributed to the fatal car crash. If that was the case, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway could be held liable. Any claim against a governmental agency in California must be filed within 180 days of the accident or injury. The Mustang should also be preserved in its current state unaltered so it can be carefully examined by an expert for mechanical problems, auto product defects and other evidence.