A Yucaipa couple–Clyde Arnett, 87 and his wife, Mildred Arnett, 88–were killed in a Palm Springs car accident after a speeding driver rear-ended their sedan that was stopped on the shoulder of Highway 111. According to a news report in The Desert Sun, the fatal car accident occurred early morning June 24, 2009 on northbound state Route 111 near Gateway Drive.
Clyde and Mildred Arnett had parked their Ford Crown Victoria sedan on the northbound shoulder of the highway when they were rear-ended at high speed by a 45-year-old Victorville man driving a Mercedes, Palm Springs police said. Witnesses told police that the man behind the wheel of the Mercedes was driving erratically just before the car collision. The Arnetts were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Mercedes was not seriously injured.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Clyde and Mildred Arnett for their sudden and tragic loss. I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved this couple. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/pdf/2007-sec8.pdf), seven fatalities and 427 injuries occurred as a result of car accidents in Palm Springs. In Riverside County as a whole, 279 fatalities and 9,925 injuries were reported in 2007 that involved car accidents.
In this particular case, the police reports and eyewitness accounts indicate that the driver of the Mercedes was at fault for this car accident. The Arnetts’ Ford Crown Victoria was parked on the shoulder of the highway and apparently was well away from traffic. The driver of the Mercedes reportedly drove erratically and rammed into the Arnetts’ car. I trust investigators are looking into why the driver was being erratic and whether drugs or alcohol were involved in this tragic car accident.
The family of Clyde and Mildred Arnett would be well-advised to retain the services of experienced California personal injury attorneys who will stay on top of this investigation, analyze the different aspects of this case and make sure that the negligent parties are held liable. If the driver of the Mercedes was driving under the influence, he could also face criminal manslaughter charges in this case.