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Beaumont Woman Killed in Broadside Crash


Thelma McLaughlin, 92, of Beaumont, was killed in a broadside crash when the car she was a passenger in was struck by another vehicle on December 30, 2008, according to this news blog. McLaughlin was in the front seat of a Chevy Lumina when the driver, who was heading west on Yucaipa Boulevard, turned left into a shopping center at Yucaipa Valley Center. Another driver, who was heading east on Yucaipa Boulevard, entered the same intersection as the Chevy Lumina made the turn and broadsided the vehicle.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Thelma McLaughlin for their loss. A Riverside car accident is such a sudden and heartbreaking way to lose a loved one. Please keep this family in your prayers.

This fatal auto accident is a clear example of how devastating a side-impact crash can be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most deadly side-angle crashes in the year 2005 were broadside crashes. These types of traffic collisions typically occur at right angles. About 62.5 percent of fatal side-angle crashes are broadsides.

The reason side impact crashes are so severe is that the sides of vehicles usually offer far less protection from the impact of a collision than the front or back of a vehicle. There is hardly any barrier or cushion between oncoming traffic and the person occupying the vehicle. If the striking vehicle hits the other squarely in its side doors, occupants of the vehicle that is struck risk severe injuries, often fatal as it happened in this crash, because the side of the vehicle completely crumples and deforms pushing broken glass and sharp metal toward them. There is a high risk of death, head and neck injuries, internal injuries and broken bones.

In this fatal Beaumont traffic collision, it is important to determine who was at fault. If the driver of the striking vehicle was at fault then that driver can be held responsible for this fatal crash. But if the driver of the Chevy Lumina did not have the right-of-way to make that left turn into the shopping center, then he or she may be held responsible for the passenger’s fatal injuries.

McLaughlin’s family would be well-advised to consult an experienced Riverside auto accident attorney to determine the facts of this case and identify the negligent parties. A skilled Riverside personal injury lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous condition on that roadway or intersection was a factor in this fatal collision. If that was the case, the city or the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway could be held liable. Please remember that any claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the accident.

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