A head-on auto accident on Highway 395 near Boron, California, on October 10, 2008, took the life of Navy officer and former Whittier High School water polo player, 20-year-old Caleb “Bubba” Manning. The Whittier Daily News reports Manning was driving a 2008 Ford Ranger south on the highway when he veered into the northbound lane and crashed into a 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck. Manning, who was wearing a seatbelt, was killed instantly according to a coroner’s report.
My heart goes out to Manning’s family and everybody who knew and loved him. This is a tragedy that has taken away a young and promising life.
A head-on crash typically occurs when a vehicle crosses a centerline or a median and crashes into an approaching vehicle. These types of auto accidents can occur as a result of a driver’s inadvertent actions or deliberate actions. According to 1999 statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System, about 18 percent of non-interchange, non-junction fatal crashes involved two vehicles colliding head-on. That percentage was the same for 1997 and 1998 as well. These data also reveal that:
- 75 percent of head-on crashes occur on rural roads
- 75 percent of head-on collisions occur on undivided two-lane roads and
- 83 percent of two-lane undivided road crashes occur on rural roads.
This tragic 10/10/2008 auto accident could have been caused by a variety of factors. Manning could have lost control of the Ford Ranger because of a mechanical malfunction. Caleb Manning’s crossing over from his lane to oncoming traffic could have happened because of roadway conditions. Also, Manning’s fatal injuries could have been caused because of his seatbelt restraint system failed. It is unlikely that an official investigation will delve into all these details.
The family of Caleb Manning will be will-served to get consultations from experienced personal injury attorneys who know, understand and constantly deal with auto accidents, restraint system failures, auto defects and unsafe roadway conditions. The family should also definitely preserve the crashed vehicle, which usually constitutes the main body of evidence in any auto product defect case.