An elderly man was killed and an elderly woman suffered major injuries in a car accident near Porterville, the afternoon of November 3, 2012. According to a news article in The Fresno Bee, the fatal crash occurred after a Cadillac sedan whose driver was distracted by his cell phone struck the victims’ Honda head-on. California Highway Patrol said the Lancaster couple in the Honda was traveling northbound on Success Valley Road near Reservation Road when the Cadillac hit them.
Officials say the man’s cell phone rang and he attempted to pick it up, but ended up dropping it on the floor. When he tried to retrieve the phone, the Cadillac veered into the northbound lanes and collided with the Honda. The driver of the Honda died at the scene and the woman was transported to a hospital with serious injuries. Four people in the Cadillac including the driver suffered moderate injuries. The investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been reported.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the deceased accident victim. My thoughts and prayers also go out to the injured victims of this crash. I wish them all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010, 3,092 people were killed and 416,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted driving nationwide. Also, 18 percent of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves and others, according to a study by Monash University.
Fault and Liability
Based on this news account, the driver of the Cadillac was distracted by his cell phone and entered into opposing lanes of traffic, striking the victims’ vehicle. Distracted driving is negligent driving. In such cases, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation from the at-fault driver for damages. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Victims would be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.