A San Diego woman who died in an auto accident in Los Angeles County on February 14, 2009 has been identified as Mira Tijerin. According to this article in The Signal, Tijerin lost control of her Nissan pickup truck that rolled 300 feet down an embankment off northbound Interstate 5 near Santa Clarita. Traffic investigators are still trying to figure out why the Nissan pickup careened across freeway lanes, broke through the metal guard rail and crashed down the embankment. Tijerin was ejected from the truck.
California Highway Patrol officials said Tijerin and two of the truck’s three passengers were not wearing seatbelts. Tijerin was pronounced dead while all three passengers were transported to a local hospital for injuries such as fractured spine as well as back and shoulder injuries.
My heart goes out to the family of Mira Tijerin, who was killed in this Southern California auto accident as well as the three others who suffered serious injuries. I offer my deepest sympathies to Tijerin’s family and friends. I wish the injured victims the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
According to 2006 statistics from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), there were 748 deaths and 57,069 injuries reported as a result of auto accidents in Los Angeles County.
In this case, the cause of the crash is still under investigation. There is no information in this newspaper article as to why Tijerin lost control of the pickup. There are no accounts so far that she was speeding, was operating under the influence of alcohol or if she had fallen asleep at the wheel. There are many questions, however, that need to be answered. Was there a mechanical malfunction in the pickup? Was there a steering problem that caused Tijerin to lose control? Were there any inherent product defects that caused her to lose control of the vehicle?
If I were a member of Tijerin’s family or one of the injured victims, I would want to consult a Southern California auto product defect attorney to determine whether a product defect caused the accident and the resulting injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney experienced in product defect cases will recommend that the vehicle be preserved in its current crashed condition so it can be examined by an expert for product defects, mechanical malfunctions and other evidence. A skilled personal injury lawyer will also examine whether there was a dangerous roadway condition that was a factor in this accident.