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Driver Charged with Manslaughter in San Jose Area Car Accident


Joshua Ryan West, 28, was identified as the bicyclist who was fatally injured in a San Jose car accident the morning of February 1, 2010. The San Jose Mercury News reports that 50-year-old Kevin Derr, the driver of the Chevy Blazer that struck and killed West, was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter. Police say Derr, in an attempt to get past slow-moving traffic on Lark Avenue, sped, jumped the curb and struck West who was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. Some eyewitnesses told police that Derr was going 50 mph in a 30mph zone. Police say they believe Derr was “grossly negligent” in this case.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Joshua Ryan West for their heartbreaking loss. Apparently, West had just dropped off his 7-year-old daughter Briana at school and was heading to a physical therapy session for back problems, when the fatal bicycle accident occurred. Tragic! This family will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.

What Caused this Fatal Car Accident?

Based on this news report, Derr did not stop his SUV even after hitting West. He continued, struck a steel barricade and then hit a traffic signal pole, which caused the Blazer to rollover. Police also say there were no skid marks to indicate that Derr made any attempt to stop before the fatal collision. So far, officials have not found any obvious evidence of drug or alcohol use, but an investigation is still ongoing.

If I were a member of West’s family, I would certainly be looking for answers in this case. What exactly caused the driver, Derr, to go out of control at that roadway? Did he have a medical condition? Was he distracted, driving recklessly or otherwise negligent? Was he under the influence of alcohol, recreational or prescription drugs? I trust investigators are looking into these and other factors in order to determine what exactly happened here.

Claim for Compensation

Joshua Ryan West’s family would be well-advised to consult with an experienced San Jose car accident lawyer who will make sure that they get the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims could file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical or funeral expenses, lost future earnings, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. If Derr was on-the-job at the time of the accident, his employer could also be held liable for the accident and the fatality.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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