Lizbeth Ramirez, 27, of Altadena was killed in a three-vehicle crash on the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena the morning of Sept. 16. According to an article in the Pasadena Star News, Ramirez’s silver Mitsubishi was involved in a minor collision with a white Chevy utility truck and was stopped in the carpool lane.
Another car driver had stopped to help and Ramirez was talking to her with her car door opened. Moments later a Dodge pickup truck then hit both the cars. The report said the Mitsubishi was spun around, Ramirez ejected and her car then ran over her causing fatal injuries. The Dodge truck also struck the vehicle of the person who had stopped to help. That victim reportedly suffered moderate injuries and was taken to an area hospital.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Lizbeth Ramirez. I also wish a speedy recovery for the Good Samaritan who was injured. California Highway Patrol officials offer this advice to drivers involved in an accident – If the car is drivable, go over to the right shoulder. If you cannot drive your vehicle off the freeway then stay inside the vehicle with your seat belt on. The vehicle can provide the best protection in the event of a collision.
There are many things that could have gone wrong in this auto accident. Clearly, the driver of the Dodge pickup truck did not see the vehicles stopped in the carpool lane and react in time. But investigators will definitely look at whether the driver of the Dodge pickup was operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. They will look at whether the Dodge driver was speeding or was distracted at the time of the crash. If he or she is found to have been under the influence or been negligent at the time of the crash, then that driver could be held criminally and civilly liable for the accident, injuries, death and loss.
I urge the family of Lizbeth Ramirez to talk to a reputed California auto accident attorney, who knows and understands the nuances of these types of chain-reaction auto accident cases. A skilled personal injury lawyer will always consider a variety of factors that may have contributed to a crash including a dangerous roadway and vehicle defects.