Los Angeles County Big Rig Accident Kills 2, Injures 12
Angelina Posca, 12, and her father Angel Jorge Posca, 58, of Palmdale, died and 12 people were injured – three of them critically, in a La Canada Flintridge big rig accident after a large out-of-control truck crashed into a local shopping center, the Los Angeles Times reports. The fatal truck crash occurred the afternoon of April 1, 2009 when a big rig descending the Angeles Crest Highway plowed through a busy intersection, struck several vehicles and crashed into a shopping complex.
The double-decker big rig apparently lost control at Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest and smashed into a bookstore and a nail salon. The driver of the big rig, 43-year-old Marcos Costa, has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. Police say he was a licensed Florida truck driver.
My heart goes out to the Posca family for their heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Angel and Angelina. It is tragic that this father and his daughter were killed in this wrongful death accident because of the negligence of others.
According to the Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 363 fatalities and 5,959 injuries related to big rig accidents in California in 2007.
Based on news reports, it appears that there was more than one party that may have been negligent in this case. Apparently, this is not the first out-of-control big rig to hurl through that intersection and crash. The last time it happened was on September 5, 2008, when an Idaho truck carrying 78,000 pounds of onions lost its brakes coming down the steep incline from the San Gabriel Mountains. The truck then crashed into several cars in a parking lot very close to the location of this incident and injured one person.
La Canada officials reportedly have been pushing Caltrans to do something about the danger of runaway trucks at that intersection. In fact, in a letter sent to the state a month ago, La Canada city officials urged Caltrans to ban trucks from using the mountain route as a short cut to the Los Angeles Basin. Further, city officials suggested that Caltrans erect signs on that dangerous roadway to caution truckers about the steep grade. The mayor says the city’s pleas were “ignored” by Caltrans.
There is no question that the driver of the big rig should be held civilly and criminally responsible for the accident. Based on the report, it appears that he was driving recklessly and without regard for public safety. It would also be interesting to see whether the truck was overloaded or suffered a mechanical failure because of overloading and from lack of maintenance. In such cases, both the driver and his employer, the trucking company, would be held liable for the accident, injuries and damages caused.
But Caltrans, which knew about an extremely dangerous road condition on this roadway but did nothing about it, should be held responsible for this recent truck accident and the carnage caused by it. Caltrans officials are now saying that they are considering a temporary ban on trucks on that portion of Angeles Crest Highway. Caltrans officials have also promised to install new safety signs there. While this is good news, it is too little done too late for the Posca family and the other victims who were seriously injured in a crash, which could’ve been prevented, had Caltrans officials done their job in the first place.
The family of Angel and Angelina Posca as well the injured victims should get in touch with a reputed California big rig accident attorney, who will help them hold the negligent parties responsible and help them secure the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve. A skilled California personal injury attorney will also be able to look into the dangerous roadway situation that contributed to this crash. In California, a claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within six months of the accident. Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys would be happy to provide a free and comprehensive consultation to the victims of this tragic truck accident or their families.