Crash on HWY 99 in Elk Grove


Crash on HWY 99 in Elk Grove

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove car accident attorney. A multiple vehicle crash on Highway 99 on November 12 led to one death and multiple injuries.

I would like to take a moment to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Tommy Jones and wishes for a speedy recovery for the others injured in the accident.

What Happened?

The accident occurred in the early morning hours along Highway 99 in the vicinity of Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove. According to a representative of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a Honda, traveling at about 70 mph in the slow lane, encountered a vehicle traveling at a significantly slower speed. The 2003 Honda driver, Ricardo Salas, 20, moved out of the way to miss hitting the other vehicle. This correction caused the Honda to overturn, leading to its collision with the center median wall under the overpass for Laguna Boulevard. This left the vehicle upright in the fast lane facing oncoming traffic.

Aftermath of the Initial Crash

Another motorist, driving a Jeep, identified as Dan Perlea, 39, stopped to help the Honda driver move his vehicle out of traffic. As this activity was proceeding, a motorcycle rider in the left lane hit the Honda at a high speed. The impact threw the biker into the slow lane where he suffered fatal injuries and pushed the disabled Honda into the parked Jeep. After this, a fourth vehicle, a Ford, driven by Isaias Godinez, 19, slammed into the Honda at 70 mph. The Ford driver reportedly did not see the accident wreckage. The fifth vehicle, an older Toyota, driven by Rafael Martinez, 53, crashed into the motorcycle wreck, dragging the biker for a few yards.

Injuries From the Accident

The coroner from Sacramento County was able to identify the biker as Tommy Jones, 26. He died at the accident site. Both the Honda and Ford drivers suffered minor injuries and refused hospital care, according to authorities.  

Traffic Slowdown

A Sigalert was issued at about 1:15 in the morning. It was lifted at approximately 3:15 a.m.

Cause of the Crash

At the time of this report, authorities gave no indication why the initial crash happened or if drugs or alcohol was involved. The investigation is ongoing. It is important to contact an experienced Elk Grove injury lawyer who can perform an investigation to pinpoint liability for an accident and help you recover damages for injuries and/or wrongful death.

Distracted Drivers

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, distracted driving was implicated in 3,450 fatalities in 2016. This represents over 9 percent of all traffic accidents. Of all distractions, including eating and adjusting the radio, talking on a cell phone or texting causes many accidents. In fact, California has outlawed such activities unless the mode of operation is entirely voice activated. In order to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents, the council has instituted a campaign telling drivers that messages and calls can wait until they can safely engage in such activities.

Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

There are ways a driver can avoid distracted driving, according to the Farmers Group. These are:

  • Get ready for the drive ahead of time: This means mapping out your journey and having exact toll pay ready before you start.
  • Give passengers a job: If it is vitally important to find just the right radio station, assign the job to a front seat passenger.
  • Turn the cell phone off: This will take away the temptation to answer an incoming call or text. Check it when you arrive.
  • Be careful of using voice activation: Although safer than fiddling with a device, voice activation takes your mind off paying attention to the road. Use it only when absolutely necessary.

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Elk Grove Injury Lawyer, Ed Smith

Elk Grove Car Accident & Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove car accident lawyer. If you have been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident in the Elk Grove area or if someone in your family died, my heart goes out to you. I am here to offer free and friendly advice on what you need to do next. Reach out to me anytime at (916) 694-0002 or (800) 404-5400. Just ask for Ed Smith.

I’ve been practicing injury law in Northern California and Elk Grove for more than 35 years. I’ve assisted many residents in wrongful death and pedestrian accidents as well as those involving traumatic brain injury.

If you are interested in the resolution of former client cases, just go to the settlements and verdicts page here on I established this website to help clients and others learn about personal injury law.

Check out what others have to say about my practice on Yelp, Google+ and Avvo, a premier legal site. There you will find comments about me by my peers.

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