Three people were killed and three others were seriously injured in a Los Angeles car accident after the driver lost control and crashed, the early morning of January 13, 2012. According to an NBC Los Angeles web site, the accident occurred at the intersection of Downey Avenue and Somerset Ranch Road in Paramount. Officials say a Chevy Tahoe SUV was traveling at speeds of more than 90 mph in a 35-mph zone when the driver lost control near the 105 Freeway overpass. The SUV hit the curb, a fire hydrant and a light post. The vehicle then rolled over and caught fire. Five people were ejected. Two of them died. A female passenger, who was found inside the SUV, died as well. Three others suffered serious injuries, but are expected to survive. All of the victims were in their early 20s.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the deceased victims. They will be in my thoughts and prayers. My heart also goes out to the injured victims of this rollover accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Los Angeles Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 227 fatalities and 25,043 injuries involving car accidents in Los Angeles. Countywide, car accidents claimed 554 people and injured 50,817, during the same year.
Excessive Speed Was a Factor
Based on this news report, the driver of the Tahoe was traveling at an unsafe rate of speed. Police say the driver was traveling at nearly 100 mph in a 35-mph zone. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” I trust officials are also looking into whether alcohol or drugs played a part in this tragic crash.
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, then, that person or his or her estate and liability insurance can be held responsible for the injuries, damages and losses here. It is also not clear if the vehicle’s occupants were buckled up or if they were ejected because of defective seatbelts. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of companionship. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will better advise victims or their families in such cases about their legal rights and options.