A Corona woman and a Good Samaritan, who was killed February 8, 2009 in a freeway accident after pulling over to help a motorist involved in another crash, has been identified as 39-year-old Roxana Martinez. According to this news report in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Martinez, her husband and two children saw a driver veer off the 71 Freeway and roll over. When Martinez and her family stopped in the emergency lane to help the driver of the overturned vehicle, a 1995 Ford Explorer veered into the emergency lane where the family was standing and struck Martinez. She was taken to an area hospital where she died.
What a tragedy for the Martinez family! Here was a woman and a family that out of the goodness of their hearts stopped to help a motorist who was stranded in an overturned vehicle. It is indeed unfortunate that Martinez became the victim of another driver’s apparent negligence. I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved Roxana Martinez. Her two children actually saw their mother get struck and killed on the freeway. This family will be in my prayers.
It is extremely important here to find out why the driver of the Ford Explorer veered into the emergency lane. The Martinez family did the right thing by stopping in the emergency lane. It was apparently the fault of the other motorist, who veered into that emergency lane and struck Martinez. The question is why that motorist did it? Was he or she driving under the influence of alcohol? Was he or she distracted? Was there a sudden problem or mechanical malfunction with the Explorer? My guess is the driver was either distracted or not in control of the SUV at the time of the accident. If that is the case, then he or she could be held civilly and criminally liable for this horrific accident.
The family of Roxana Martinez would be well-advised to consult an experienced Inland Empire auto accident attorney who will look into how and why this accident occurred, identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable for this accident. Families of deceased auto accident victims, who died because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, may be able to file wrongful death claims that compensate family members for medical/funeral costs, loss of wages and companionship.