A 31-year-old truck driver was killed in an Orange County car accident after he was struck by a vehicle on the shoulder of the Interstate 5. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal accident occurred the morning of September 26, 2011 on the 5 Freeway, near Avenida Vista Hermosa, in San Clemente. California Highway Patrol officials say the driver of the Freightliner commercial truck had pulled over to the right shoulder due to a mechanical problem.
The man got out of the truck and was standing on the left side of the big rig when a BMW traveling in the number four lane drifted to the right shoulder, and sideswiped the left side of the truck, before hitting the truck driver. The man was fatally injured. The driver of the BMW, a 64-year-old San Diego man, has not been arrested pending an official investigation.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the truck driver who died in this tragic crash. My thoughts and prayers go out to this grieving family.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to CHP’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 13 were injured as a result of pedestrian accidents in San Clemente. In Orange County as a whole, 41 fatalities and 864 injuries occurred involving pedestrian accidents, during the same year.
What Caused This Fatal Crash?
It appears from this news report that the driver of the BMW entered the shoulder of the freeway and struck the truck and its driver. The question here is what caused the driver of the BMW to leave his lane of traffic. Was he under the influence? Was he distracted at the time? Was he fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel? Was there any other form of negligence involved? I trust officials are looking into these and other factors as they decide whether to file charges in this case.
Fault and Liability
If the driver of the BMW is determined to have been at fault, then he could also be held civilly liable for the truck driver’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of companionship, and other related damages. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will better advise victims’ families in such cases about their legal rights and options.