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Speed was a Factor in Fatal Truck Accident, Officials Say

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A fatal truck accident on a Napa roadway the morning of June 3, 2010 that killed four people may have been caused by an inattentive trucker who was operating at an unsafe speed, California Highway Patrol officials say. The Napa Valley Register reports that the crash killed four people from the same family — Matthew Jay Smith, 48, Laura Katharine Smith, 19, Richard Smith, 80, and Sally Smith, 74.

The fatal crash occurred on Jamieson Canyon Road when a Subaru Forester SUV carrying the four victims was rear-ended by a big-rig operated by 42-year-old Gustavo Lopez. The SUV was then pushed into the path of another large truck and was crushed. All four occupants of the Subaru died at the scene. Although CHP officials believe Lopez was not impaired, they have determined that he was extremely inattentive and was traveling an unsafe speed given the stop-and-go traffic conditions. Criminal charges are pending.

I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved these deceased victims. This family will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.

Napa Car Accidents

There were three fatalities and 354 injuries involving car accidents in Napa, in 2008, according to CHP’s traffic accident statistics. Also, during the same year, 15 deaths and 770 injuries were reported in Napa County as a result of traffic accidents.

Claim for Compensation

In this particular case, if officials make a final determination that Lopez caused the accident, he could not only be charged criminally for reckless driving, but he and his employer could also be held civilly liable for the wrongful death of the four victims. Families in such cases would be well-advised to consult an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the investigation and make sure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

What safety tips would you offer motorists to drive safely when near large trucks?

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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  • Carolyn McLeese

    Sally Smith was my cousin. I want to know if there is any more news availble re Gustavo Lopez and posible charges? Please respond.

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