Man Killed in Rollover Accident in Santa Barbara County Identified


Man Killed in Rollover Accident in Santa Barbara County Identified

I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. A rollover accident in a rural part of Santa Maria resulted in the death of a driver on July 17. Although the name of the man has been released by a representative of the California Highway Patrol, it is unknown at this time what caused the crash.

What Happened

According to the CHP, the 22-year-old man was driving along Brown Road in the vicinity of Betteravia Road in a Pontiac Firebird before 6:30 in the morning when he lost control of his car. The vehicle reportedly exited the road and overturned onto its roof in a lettuce field. The young man was found trapped inside his vehicle at the scene of the accident. The deceased man was identified by authorities as Edgar Contreras-Argote of Guadalupe.

Emergency responders from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, along with the fire department from Santa Maria arrived at the crash site to provide assistance. Officers with the CHP and American Medical Response ambulance service also responded.

Tripped Rollovers

Tripped rollovers are caused when a vehicle’s tires hit something such as a median strip, soft dirt or a guardrail. When a vehicle’s forward motion becomes disrupted in this way, the vehicle can become unstable. This can result in a rollover accident. While sometimes this may be due to driver error, some vehicles can be forced to take evasive action when passed too closely by another vehicle. This type of sudden maneuver can place the driver of the first vehicle in danger of a rollover.

Untripped Rollovers

Untripped rollovers are less common and happen in only 5 percent of this type of accident. Normally, an untripped rollover happens when a driver swerves to avoid striking an object in the road or overcorrects the vehicle when trying to make a sharp turn. Some vehicles are more prone to experience a rollover accident of this type. Top-heavy vehicles such as sport utility vehicles and trucks are most likely to experience a rollover because of their higher center of gravity.

Dangers of Rollover Accidents

Rollovers can result in serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and spinal injuries, particularly when a vehicle’s roof becomes crushed. Almost 50 percent of all fatalities in a rollover are caused by ejection of the occupant from a vehicle. However, there are ways to help prevent rollovers and resultant injuries or death.

  • Wear a seat belt at all times.
  • Stay within the posted speed limits and obey other traffic laws.
  • Do not drink and drive, or use drugs and drive.
  • Keep the vehicle within its load capacity.
  • Place heavy loads inside the vehicle toward the center and at the bottom for stability.
  • Use extra caution when driving around a sharp curve.
  • Do not text or use a cell phone when driving.
  • Maintain the vehicle properly, such as checking brakes and tires on a regular basis.

Attorney Ed Smith

Santa Barbara Car Accident Lawyer & Wrongful Death Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. Negligence by another driver is responsible for many accident injuries and wrongful deaths in California. If you or your family member has been injured in an accident, call me at (805) 372-0200 or at (800) 404-5400. I offer you my free and friendly advice to help you in this time of difficulty.

As a California member of the Million Dollar Forum, I belong to a forum that only allows membership from the top trial lawyers around the country. Members of this group have garnered $1 million or higher in case verdicts or settlement amounts for previous clients.

Comments, ratings and reviews from a few former clients can be found at Yelp, Avvo and at Google Plus. For added information, please look over my verdicts and settlements page.

Along with being the founder/owner of, I have worked as an injury lawyer in California for 35 years. During these years, I have helped numerous victims of traumatic injuries and those who have lost a family member through a wrongful death in obtaining fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

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