Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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Charles Bolt, 85, was killed in a San Francisco area car accident after he was hit by a vehicle while crossing the street. According to a news report in The Daily Journal, the pedestrian versus car accident occurred the night of October 14, 2010. Police believe that Bolt attempted to cross the street from the north side of 25th Avenue in San Mateo when an SUV struck and killed him. The 58-year-old female driver of the SUV was not cited or arrested at the scene of this fatal pedestrian accident. An investigation into this incident is still pending.

My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Charles Bolt. My thoughts and prayers are with them following this tragic car accident.
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A teenager was killed in a Los Angeles car accident, which police believe, was caused by a man driving under the influence of alcohol. The LA Daily News reports that the teen boy was riding his bicycle at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Chamberlain Street in Pacoima early morning on October 2, 2010, when a 2007 Saturn driven by 26-year-old Shawn Fields, struck him.

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The boy was thrown off his bike and across the intersection. Fields left the scene of the car accident but was later tracked down by the authorities with the assistance of witnesses. The injured bicyclist, whom officials have not identified, was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Fields has been booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and hit-and-run.
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Jose Martinez, 88, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident after he was struck by a vehicle the morning of September 26, 2010. According to a news report in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Martinez was walking down the 300 block of East Foothill Boulevard in Azusa when he was hit by a Ford Windstar van driven by a 47-year-old woman. Martinez was transported to a regional hospital for treatment of critical injuries, but died a few hours later. Police do not believe speed or alcohol was a factor in the crash. An investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jose Martinez for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. This grieving family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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Gloria Lyn Ziegenmeyer-Hooker, 57, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident after the vehicle in which she was a passenger rolled over and crashed on the 15 Freeway, in Victorville. According to a news report in the Victorville Daily Press, the fatal accident occurred the morning of July 5, 2010.
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The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have always supported the brave men and woman from the CHP that serve our community. It came as a shock to us when the CHP fatality statistics for 2010 were released. 2010 has marked the deadliest year in over a decade for California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers. In less than two months five CHP officers have been fatally injured in the line of duty, according to a report in the Mercury News. The deaths from the last two months alone make 2010 the deadliest year since 1996, according to the CHP’s website.

Jon Hamm, chief executive for the California Association of Highway Patrolmen said that over the agency’s 80-year history 220 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Of these more than half were killed in roadside collisions.
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Liane Gertrud Hocking, 69, was killed in a car accident the evening of June 7, 2010 after her car collided with another vehicle at a street intersection. According to a news report in the Merced Sun-Star, the fatal car accident occurred at the intersection of Bert Crane and Atwater Jordan roads. Hocking was driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant north on Bert Crane Road when she stopped at the intersection.
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The family of one of five people, who were killed in a two single-engine plane crash over Corona a year ago, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the estates of the pilots of the two airplanes who were also killed in that crash. According to this news report in The Orange County Register, Scott Lawrence of Cerritos was a passenger in a four-seat Cessna 172. The lawsuit was filed by Lawrence’s former wife, Sarah Lawrence, his son Bradford and daughter Brianna Moeller.

The Cessna 172 was piloted by 73-year-old Paul Carlson and the Cessna 150 by 24-year-old Brandon William Johnson of Costa Mesa. Also killed in this tragic crash were Anthony Joel Guzman, 20, of Yorba Linda and Earl Smiddy of Moreno Valley, who was killed when he was sitting at his desk at the Corona Chevrolet dealership when falling debris from the aircraft fell through the building’s roof. The suit also names William Reinke, a veteran flight instructor from La Habra, who rented the Cessna 172 to Carlson and Mike Branigan, general manager of the Corona Flight Academy who owns the Cessna 150.

Witness reports state that one plane was headed east while the other was going north when the planes collided mid-air. Neither pilot appeared to take any action to avoid the catastrophic collision, eyewitnesses told officials. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating this crash, has not yet determined who was at fault.
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A Santa Cruz company has agreed to pay $2 million in connection with a wrongful death lawsuit, which alleges that their employee caused a 2005 fatal auto accident. According to this news report, the family of the auto accident victim, 84-year-old German Rodriguez, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ledyard Co.

The fatal auto crash occurred April 25, 2005 when Ledyard’s employee, Jeffrey Huff, cut into Rodriguez’s lane on San Felipe road, forcing Rodriguez into the path of an oncoming big rig. The impact of the crash, which decapitated Rodriguez, was witnessed by his daughter, Ada. Huff was on the job for Ledyard at the time of the accident.

In this case, attorneys for the company tried to argue that Rodriguez was too old to have been driving. They said he was the one who lost control of his car and drove into the big rig. However, at the very last minute before a jury trial, Ledyard Co. settled with the Rodriguez family for $2 million. This is said to be the largest private settlement in San Benito County in a wrongful death lawsuit.
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What damages are recoverable in a wrongful death case? A head-on collision on Highway 41 near Nevada Avenue killed a 26-year-old Lemoore man driving a Toyota Corolla as well as another man driving a 1998 Saturn according to a recent news report in The Hanford-Sentinel.

The accident happened near Lemoore as the Saturn driver who was northbound on the two-lane State Route 41, tried to speed past a 2007 Toyota by getting into the southbound lane. The Saturn then hit the southbound Corolla. Edward Sutton, the driver of the northbound 2007 Toyota anticipated the collision and swerved to the right as the Saturn tried to pass him, said official reports. The Saturn driver, who was reportedly driving at a speed of 90-95 miles an hour, swerved to the right too but couldn’t avoid the southbound Corolla. Sutton’s passenger Kristin Holly, 37, suffered minor injuries while Sutton and his remaining two other passengers, Nicholas Stoll, 14, and Andrew Stoll, 11, were not injured.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the Lemoore man, who has not been identified. As for the driver of the Saturn, there can be no excuse for going that fast on a two-lane road or for making a reckless pass and for putting his life and the lives of other motorists in danger. It will be interesting to see if the traffic collision investigation determines what was going on with the Saturn driver to cause him to drive so recklessly.
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