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Three Dead after Gravel Truck Crashes into Home

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A family of three was killed in a truck accident after the big-rig carrying gravel crashed into the home they were renting. The Los Angeles Times reports that Jasiel, a 7-year-old boy and his parents, identified only as Leon and Leona, were killed the morning of August 24, 2010, when a truck hauling gravel to a construction site lost its brakes while going down the steep and winding California 154. The truck driver, 51-year-old Joaquin Garcia Morales, said he could not stop the truck. The big-rig crossed State Street and then turned into a parking lot where it crashed into parked cars and then the family’s home. Morales was going about 50 miles per hour at the time of the accident. All three victims died at the scene. Morales was not injured.

What a heartbreaking loss for this family! I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved this family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) there were four fatalities and 571 injuries involving car accidents in Santa Barbara. During the same year, 35 people were killed and 1,952 people were injured in Santa Barbara County car accidents.

Why Did the Brakes Fail?

Based on this news report, it appears that this runaway gravel truck came barreling down the road after losing its brakes. I trust officials are looking into how and why the truck’s brakes failed. Was this tragic collision the result of poor vehicle maintenance? Was it the result of an inherent auto product defect? Did the brakes fail as a result of overloading? These are important questions to ask in this case. Hopefully, an in-depth investigation will shed more light on what caused this fatal injury crash.

Liability Issues

If the truck driver or the trucking company is determined to have been at fault, they could be held liable. If another company or contractor was in charge of maintaining the truck, that individual or entity could be held liable as well. If this was the result of overloading the truck, the trucking firm and driver could be held liable. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, family members of deceased truck accident victims could seek compensation to cover funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to advise families in such cases about their legal rights and options.

Are there any steep roadways in your city that pose the danger of runaway 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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