Four people, identified as 22-year-old Marissa Fritz, 17-year-old Brianna Heyrend, 17-year-old Roland Mohan and 49-year-old Arturo Delatorre, were killed in a Lancaster car crash. According to an Associated Press news report, the fatal crash occurred the evening of September 21, 2013 when a Honda Civic blew a stop sign and broadsided a pickup truck in the Mojave Desert. Both vehicles rolled into a ditch. The teens were in the Honda and were not buckled up, officials said. In addition to the deceased, three others were critically injured and transported to area hospitals. The investigation is ongoing.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the deceased crash victims. I also wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 10 fatalities and 673 injuries reported in Lancaster. In Los Angeles County, 530 people died and 50,513 were injured due to traffic collisions during the same year.
Stop Sign Violation
Based on this news report, it appears that one of the drivers ran a stop sign and caused the collision. California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
It is tragic that the deceased teens were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision. Statistics show that seatbelts save lives and had they been buckled up, these young people may have been alive today. In this particular case, the driver of the Civic can be held criminally and civilly liable for causing a deadly accident. These types of accident investigations can get very complex. It would be in the best interests of victims and their families to contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights are protected.