Car Flew off I-5 near Yreka


Car Flew off I-5 near Yreka

I’m Ed Smith, a Yreka Car Accident Lawyer. A man drove off the freeway near Oroville and was seriously injured on Friday, October 7.

What Happened?

Friday afternoon, a 48-year-old man identified by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) as Jason Kaiser was driving his vehicle on Interstate 5 heading north. Sometime close to 2:50 p.m., Kaiser, from Westminster, allowed his vehicle to depart from the lanes and run onto the gravel shoulder to the right of the freeway.

The vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet Volt ran into a plastic paddle reflector that sits off the shoulder and then traveled outside the guardrail of the Julien Creek Bridge. Kaiser then hit the sign for the bridge and continued on down the grade towards the creek when it hit the barbed wire fence running alongside the creek and launched into the air. The Volt clipped one of the concrete pillars that support the bridge and landed on the cement abutment of the creek and ended up spinning to a stop underneath the bridge.

Witnesses Try To Help

Several other drivers who witnessed the car accident stopped to help the injured driver after the crash. Officers from the CHP and Yreka Police Department arrived and administered first aid until paramedics arrived. Mount Shasta Ambulance and CalFire responders determined that Kaiser’s injuries were too serious for ground transport and called in an air evacuation from a LifeNet Medical Helicopter. Jason was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Redding with major injuries.

Possible Injuries

With a collision this violent, a number of injuries can occur. The initial impacts with plastic reflector panels and the road sign would most likely not have any effect on the driver’s body, but the barbed wire fence likely affected the direction of the vehicle’s travel by projecting it upwards. The sharp change from a downward trajectory to an upward angle could have caused the head and/or chest of the driver to hit the steering wheel. Also, the jolt could have caused a rapid compression to the spine which can put stress on the intervertebral disks. This could cause inflammation or soreness in the spinal region, or further injure existing conditions such as a bulging or herniated disk.

Those injuries are minor compared to the trauma that was most likely caused by the second impact as the car landed. Severe head, neck, and chest injuries are to be expected, likely requiring the need for a helicopter transport to a hospital. Major fractures of ribs and other bones can leave sharp edges and points that sever arteries and veins which can cause death if not treated immediately. Injuries to the brain and spinal are also big concerns when the head and neck undergo this type of trauma. Broken bones in the extremities are also common  injuries resulting from the body colliding with the steering wheel, weight transfer through the legs, and impact with the dashboard.

Related Articles by Yreka Car Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith

Yreka Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Yreka Car Accident Lawyer. If you or a loved one find yourself in a car accident or situation that causes injury, please call me for free and friendly advice at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. I can also be reached online at

I have been practicing in Northern California, including Yreka, for 35 years. My experience and knowledge of the area will be crucial in helping you get what you deserve. Look over my past verdicts and settlements.

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My website,, is full of helpful information on car accident, wrongful death, dog bites, and many other legal areas.

You can also find me listed on as a trial lawyer who has been successful in case verdicts or settlements of a million dollars or more.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, 2011 Chevrolet Volt by NRMA New Cars. CC BY 2.0
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