Eric Jones, 61, died after a teenage wrong-way driver struck his 1979 Toyota Corolla during a head-on collision on a road just south of Visalia. According to a news report in the Visalia Times-Delta, 18-year-old Kailee Olson of Visalia was driving the wrong way on Demaree Street north of Avenue 272. Jones was pronounced dead shortly after the Visalia auto accident while a 10-year-old boy, who was a passenger, is in a Fresno hospital with critical injuries.
California Highway Patrol officials say they plan on charging Olson with vehicular manslaughter. CHP investigators say they don’t know why Olson was driving the wrong way and she says she has no recollection of the accident. Olson’s damaged Camry has not yet been inspected for mechanical problems, which may have been a factor in the crash, officials say. The vehicular manslaughter could be a misdemeanor or criminal count depending on whether pending toxicology tests show that there were drugs or alcohol involved.
I offer my deepest condolences to Jones’ family for their loss and wish the boy a speedy recovery.
I’d be very curious to find out what caused Olson to drive the way she did. Officials suspect mechanical malfunction. But I would also be interested to see if Olson was driving under the influence considering that she is telling officials that she does not remember anything about the crash.
I would strongly urge the victims’ families to seek the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable California auto accident attorney, who will be able to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and its circumstances. If Olson was driving under the influence, she will be held civilly and criminally responsible for the accident.
A skilled California personal injury attorney will also look into other factors that caused the crash, including product or mechanical defects and malfunctions, other vehicles that may have been involved in the incident or a dangerous roadway condition.