Alice Olson, 54, of La Crescenta, was injured in an auto accident on October 11, 2008 after a cement mixer making a turn onto Briggs Avenue toppled over Olson’s Mercedes, trapping her inside. California Highway Patrol officials said the driver of the cement mixer was driving at “an excessive rate of speed” on Foothill Boulevard just before attempting to turn. Our source for this blog was a La Canada Valley Sun news report.
Los Angeles County firefighters had to extricate Olson from the vehicle that was completely crushed under the weight of the cement mixer. The airbags had deployed, but Olson was still able to use the phone and also talk to firefighters as they tried to get her out. Olson was transported to an area hospital with moderate injuries.
I’m relieved that Alice Olson did not suffer major injuries in this 10/11/2008 Los Angeles County auto crash. This could have easily been an accident with tragic consequences. I wish Olson the very best for a speedy recovery.
From the CHP officials’ initial assessment, it seems that the driver of the cement truck was at fault for the accident. If the cement truck driver is determined to have been driving dangerously at the time of the accident, then he and his employer could be held responsible for the accident and resulting injuries and damages.
The California Driver Handbook talks about California’s “Basic Speed Law.” This law means that you may never drive faster than is safe for current conditions. For example, if you are driving 45 mph in a 55 mph speed zone during a dense fog, you could be cited for driving “too fast for conditions.” Regardless of the posted speed limit, a driver’s speed limit should depend on:
- The number and speed of other vehicles on the road
- Whether the road surface is smooth, rough, graveled, wet, dry, wide or narrow
- Bicyclists and pedestrians walking on the road’s edge
- Weather conditions – rain, fog, snow, wind, dust.
In the case of this accident, it certainly seems to me that the cement truck driver was going too fast than was safe for the conditions at the time. Alice Olson would be well-advised to seek the expert counsel of an experienced Southern California auto accident attorney, who will be able to thoroughly investigate this accident, gather the necessary evidence and go after the driver and trucking company to secure the compensation she rightfully deserves. Olson will be entitled to recover damages for property loss, cost of medical expenses, physical therapy and loss of wages, if applicable.