Death on an Off-Ramp in South Sacramento

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May 01, 2019
Edward Smith

Death on an Off-Ramp in South Sacramento

A young woman died pushing her vehicle on an off-ramp in South Sacramento on April 29 at about 4:00 a.m. A passenger in the vehicle was assisting the woman to push the car when the accident occurred. At this time, the woman who died has not been identified. I would like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of the decedent in their time of grief.

What Happened

According to authorities, the vehicle stalled on the southbound lanes of Highway 99 near Fruitridge Road in the early morning hours. The driver and her female passenger left the vehicle and began pushing it up a nearby off-ramp. The vehicle started but then stalled a second time. The two women left the vehicle again and continued pushing it further up the off-ramp. As they proceeded, the vehicle started to roll backward. The passenger was able to jump out of the way of the rolling car, but the driver was not. Police say the woman was thrown down the embankment, and she was declared dead at the scene. The vehicle was towed from the area once the investigation was completed.

A California Highway Patrol (CHP) spokesman warned against leaving a vehicle in the event of mechanical failure. Instead, the CHP said to stop a vehicle in the safest location possible. Call 911 for assistance with pushing the vehicle.

What to Do if Your Vehicle Breaks Down

When a vehicle breaks down, there are measures that can be taken to promote safety. These are:

  • Pull off the road: If possible, it is best to remove the vehicle from traffic by pulling over to the shoulder of the road. It is important to use signal lights and flashers to provide adequate notice to other drivers. If it is necessary to pull onto the left shoulder, try to keep the vehicle away from moving traffic. The same precautions should be taken on off-ramps to avoid accidents with serious injuries.
  • Use hazard lights: Hazard lights are another way to warn other drivers that a vehicle is having trouble and has come to a stop. This is particularly true when it is impossible to get the vehicle out of the flow of traffic. It is also viable if the vehicle has entered an off ramp since many drivers are not expecting a disabled vehicle in this location. Flares and tying a light-colored cloth to the antenna or hanging it out of the window are other ways of signaling a problem. Raising the hood and tying a bright colored cloth to it can help.
  • Provide a proper location: When a driver calls 911, they need to provide an accurate location. This might not always be easy since long stretches of the highway may be unmarked. Try to remember the last exit sign or service area. There may be mile markers also. The more precise directions are, the more likely rescuers will arrive in the least amount of time. If this happens during commute periods, the CHP free service patrol can help.
  • Try to describe what happened to the vehicle: Since most drivers are not mechanics, this might be more descriptive than precise. Things to note are whether the engine was smoking or if unusual noises preceded the vehicle failure.
  • When leaving the vehicle is necessary: Leaving the vehicle can be hazardous. If staying in the car or truck is more dangerous, it is important to look for traffic before exiting it. Try to exit the vehicle from the right side, away from traffic. Avoid standing behind or in front of the vehicle.
  • Call 911: Provide the vehicle’s location, and wait for rescuers to arrive.
  • Call roadside assistance: Describe what happened and where you are. Let them know if you already called 911.
  • Lock the doors and windows.
  • Refrain from leaving the engine running.
  • If someone suspicious comes up to the vehicle, ask them to leave. If they persist, call 911. Start honking the horn, and put flashers on if they aren’t already.

What to Do If You Need to Leave the Vehicle

There are times that it may be counterproductive to stay in the vehicle. Follow the tips given above. If someone offers to help, ask to see their identification first. It is best not to leave the area with a stranger.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. If you are stranded on the highway or if a member of your family has died in an accident, you may be able to recover damages. Reach out to me for free and friendly advice by calling (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. You can reach me online also.

I’ve advocated for residents of Sacramento for over 37 years. They have been able to collect the compensation they deserve in all types of car accidents, pedestrian injuries and wrongful death among others.

Among the many organizations I belong to, I would like to mention the following:

Look at the following pages to learn about my practice.

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