Rollover in Sacramento Kills 17-Year-Old


Rollover in Sacramento Kills 17-Year-Old

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. A teenage boy died on Wednesday, July 12 in the afternoon after he was thrown from a vehicle as it rolled over.

What Happened?

At about 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Timothy Dale Wickerson of Sacramento was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck down the Capital City Freeway. The pickup truck was carrying four other passengers as Wickerson took the El Camino Avenue exit going south. While exiting the freeway, the off-ramp makes a slow right turn then a sharper left turn to connect to El Camino Avenue at a traffic light. Timothy Wickerson lost control of the Silverado on one of these curves and ended up rolling the truck. A 17-year-old boy passenger was ejected from the vehicle as it was rolling up the off-ramp. During the rollover, the pickup truck hit a Volkswagen GTI, a small European hatchback, which was sitting at the light, waiting to turn onto El Camino Avenue. The Chevrolet landed on its wheels and the driver took off down El Camino as he fled the scene.

Wickerson stopped and parked the truck on a nearby side street and continued to flee on foot. The other three passengers ran back to the scene of the accident to help the ejected boy and check on the driver of the Volkswagen. Paramedics arrived and took the boy to UC Davis Medical Center. He later succumbed to his injuries and passed away at a local hospital. The other passengers of the Silverado were treated at the hospital with minor to moderate injuries. All of the occupants of the Volkswagen GTI managed to get through the incident unharmed.

Sacramento Police found the abandoned Silverado and were able to track down the driver who had returned to his residence after fleeing the accident. He had sustained minor injuries but after being medically cleared, Wickerson was arrested by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and taken to the Sacramento County Jail. He is being held on $75,000 bail with charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license, possession of a controlled substance, and hit and run with death or permanent injury.

How did this Happen?

Maps and pictures of the exit ramp where the accident occurred show a clearly marked roadway with no trees or shrubs along the edges that might have caused the driver to swerve sharply and lose control. The most plausible cause of the wreck is excessive speed. If the full-size pickup truck had not slowed down enough as it exited the freeway, the driver might have lost control as the tires lost grip or the G forces were enough to pull the truck over and into a roll. The high center of gravity of trucks and SUVs make them significantly more likely to rollover when taking curves at high speeds.

Ejections from vehicles are extremely deadly in rollovers. Often times the victim suffers traumatic or fatal injuries. When a body is thrown from a rolling vehicle, it usually exits bit by bit as the car tumbles. Limbs stick out and get crushed or amputated and are often followed by the rest of the body during the accident. Wearing a seat belt is the best way to prevent an ejection during a rollover accident. There is a small chance a person can get free from their seat belt because the forces are applied in many different directions in a rolling car. This can cause the straps to loosen as their body jerks back and forth. We do not know if the victim who died Wednesday was wearing a seat belt or not, but it is possible he did have it on but was shaken free during the accident.

We extend our condolences to the friends and loved ones of the young man who passed away.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. Rollover crashes are traumatic for anyone involved, especially the families of victims who were killed. I have been working wrongful death and car accident cases since 1982 in the Sacramento area to help people receive coverage for their losses in tragic times such as these. Call my office at 916-921-6400 or 800-404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Image Source: By TRC, Ohio NHTSAWikimedia Commons

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