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Woman Killed in Car Crash in Merced


Liane Gertrud Hocking, 69, was killed in a car accident the evening of June 7, 2010 after her car collided with another vehicle at a street intersection. According to a news report in the Merced Sun-Star, the fatal car accident occurred at the intersection of Bert Crane and Atwater Jordan roads. Hocking was driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant north on Bert Crane Road when she stopped at the intersection.

Carlos Eduardo Vieira was driving a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck east on Atwater Jordan Road. There were stop signs at the intersection on Bert Crane, but none on Atwater Jordan Road. CHP officials say Hocking drove the Mitsubishi into the intersection and Vieira was unable to prevent the collision. Hocking was critically injured and transported to a local hospital where she died. Vieira was uninjured. An investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Liane Gertrud Hocking for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Accident Statistics

According to CHP’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was one fatality and 66 injuries involving car accidents in Atwater. In Merced County as a whole, 51 people died and 1,166 suffered personal injuries as a result of car accidents during the same year.

Traffic Laws

Based on this news report, it is not clear why Hocking pulled out in front of the pickup truck. Readers who have commented to the news account say that this particular intersection is dangerous and has been the site of numerous earlier fatalities. Trees, apparently, block the view of traffic approaching from Bert Crane Road. The city had been notified about the unsafe street intersection many times but failed to take action. If I were a family member of the victim, I would certainly want to know if someone else’s negligence led to this fatal crash. I trust investigators are also looking into any traffic violations on Vieira’s part, and examining eyewitness accounts to determine exactly what occurred here.

California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”

Liability Issues

In such cases, the at-fault party could be held liable for the accident and injuries caused. If Vieira is determined to have been at fault, then he could be held liable for Hocking’s wrongful death. If there was a dangerous condition on the roadway, which caused this accident, then the city or governmental agency could be held liable as well. An example of a dangerous condition, for example, could be a stop sign that is hidden because of foliage that wasn’t maintained by the city. Any claim against a California governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the accident or injury. The best California personal injury lawyers will always offer a free and comprehensive consultation to injured victims and their families.

What do you believe causes a majority of street intersection accidents?

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.

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