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San Bernardino Car Accident Kills Elderly Woman

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Maria Sanchez, 84, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident after another driver attempted a U-turn and struck the car in which she was a passenger. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, Michael V. Santos, 23, was driving east on Highway 138 east of the 15 Freeway in Hesperia, California, the night of August 23, 2009, when he made a U-turn in front of another car driven by 43-year-old Maria Santana. The two vehicles collided and Santana’s car rolled over ejecting Sanchez. Santana, Santos and Santos’ passenger–22-year-old Sandra Alcantar–were all taken to local hospitals with minor injuries. Sanchez was also taken to an area hospital where she died, California Highway Patrol officials said.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Maria Sanchez for their devastating loss. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved Sanchez. Please keep them in your prayers.

San Bernardino Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 13 deaths and 250 injuries involving car accidents in Hesperia, California. In San Bernardino County as a whole, 308 fatalities and 9,920 injures were reported in 2007 as a result of car accidents.

If the news account of this Hesperia car accident is accurate, Michael V. Santos made a U-turn in front of the other car causing the fatal car accident. It seems to me that Santos may have made an illegal U-turn. California Vehicle Code section 21801 (a) states the following requirements for drivers making a left turn or a U-turn: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”

California Car Accident Lawyer

In such car accidents where serious or fatal injuries have occurred, it is important to look into whether those injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. Sanchez’s family would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of this car crash, determine whether there was any negligence and hold the negligent parties responsible for their actions. The best California personal injury law firms will always offer a free and comprehensive initial consultation to injury victims and/or their families.

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  • It’s truly a shame how many fatal car crashes occur every year. These statistics are just for one city – the national stats are even more staggering.

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