Jessica Zarate, 24 and Oliver Stokes, 22, were killed in a Simi Valley car accident after a teen driver crashed into their sedan, which was traveling north on Sinaloa Road. According to a news report in the Ventura County Star, the accident occurred the evening of March 17, 2010, when a 17-year-old girl driving an SUV east of Royal Avenue ran a red light at Sinaloa Road and crashed into the victims’ car. Zarate died of multiple blunt force injuries and Stokes from blunt forehead and chest injuries. Police said drugs or alcohol were not a factor. They have not yet determined whether the teen driver was talking on her cell phone or texting at the time.
I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Zarate and Stokes for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. It is evident from the news article that both of them were much loved and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew them. Please keep these grieving families in your prayers.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were six fatalities and 430 injuries as a result of car accidents in Simi Valley. In Ventura County as a whole, 63 deaths and 3,785 injuries occurred due to car accidents during the same year.
Rules of the Road
In this particular case, if the details in the news report are accurate, it appears that the teen driver may have caused the accident by running the red light at the intersection. Running a red light is a serious traffic violation in California. There are various California Vehicle Code sections that are part of what we commonly refer to as “rules of the road.” These code sections address motorists’ behavior at intersections, especially those controlled by traffic signals. California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
Claim for Compensation
In such cases, victims’ families would be well-advised to contact an experienced Simi Valley car accident lawyer to find out more about their legal rights and options. Where there is negligence or wrongdoing involved, victims or families of deceased car accident victims, could file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical/funeral expenses, lost future earnings, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.