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Man Perishes in Elk Grove Car Fire

Man Perishes in Elk Grove Car Fire

Driver Perishes in Elk Grove Car Fire

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. A tragedy took place near Elk Grove on southbound I-5 Wednesday afternoon on May 31, 2017, when a vehicle caught fire after crashing into a side barrier. The driver perished in the crash.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the man involved in the accident during this difficult time.

What Happened

Only the one vehicle was involved in the crash that happened just after 2:00 p.m. According to evidence at the scene, the driver veered off of the roadway and hit a metal highway sign and side guard rail. The crash flipped the moving vehicle over but it continued to roll and stopped on its wheels. The impact caused the vehicle to catch fire. A few drivers responding quickly to the scene. One attempted to subdue the flames with a fire extinguisher from his truck while others tried tirelessly to free the man trapped inside the vehicle. Two to three minutes into their efforts the flames became too fierce, forcing the helpers to withdraw from the wreckage. The identity of the driver is still unknown but interviews with witnesses of the scene suggest it was an older man.

Why a Vehicle Catches on Fire

According to National Fire Protection Association, there are any number of reasons why a vehicle may catch fire that range from auto defects to lack of maintenance. However, for all vehicle fires mechanical failure accounts for 49%, Electrical malfunction accounts for 23%, and vehicular collisions only account for 3%. Vehicular collisions also account for the majority (58%) of vehicle fire-related deaths. Below are explanations of the more common causes of vehicle fires.

– Auto Defects

Surprisingly, auto defects is a common risk for vehicle fires. Car manufacturers are to maintain a high standard of crashworthiness, so in the event of a collision, the vehicle will not catch fire. Flaws in design can also pose fire hazards from electrical problems to fluid leaks. Make sure to stay on top of any recall reports to know if your vehicle is affected by a known defect. There are often cases when the defects may not be known. If your vehicle catches fire for an unknown cause, call a lawyer to understand your options, especially in the event of a traumatic injury or wrongful death to a loved one. It may be due to the lack of crashworthiness of the vehicle.

– Neglecting Maintenance

Maintaining a vehicle is crucial in avoiding any unwanted damage and fires in a vehicle. Any leaky seals and frayed wires together can cause fires. When in contact with flammable fluids, the frayed wires can spark and cause combustion outside of the controlled area inside the engine. This poses a high risk for a rapidly spreading fire that is difficult to extinguish.

– Vehicular Collisions

Vehicle manufacturers purposely design their vehicles to protect against fires during a collision by absorbing the resulting impact away from the fuel tank. That is not to say that these forces cannot cause the mechanics to malfunction resulting in a vehicle fire. Fluids can spill and, when combined with a scolding hot engine, ignite causing a rapidly spreading vehicle fire.

– Battery Packs

Due to the growing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles, battery pack fires are an increasing issue. Most vehicles use some type of lithium ion battery which can combust under certain conditions. A recent example of this is with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 or hoverboard batteries that ignite randomly even when not in use.

– Overheating

An engine’s design has the purpose of keeping it from catching fire even in extreme temperatures. Yet, without the proper fluids and maintenance, the elements designed to protect the engine can cause overheating. Many fluids helping the engine to function properly are also highly flammable. They can ignite a fire when allowed in areas of the vehicle they are not designed to go.



Attorney Ed Smith

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer and Wrongful Death Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer. If you, or anyone close to you have been in an accident that resulted in serious injury or wrongful death, please call me today at (916) 694-0002 to be informed of your options. You can also call me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

I have been working with the community of Sacramento and Elk Grove on their personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1982.

Many of my clients have left favorable reviews after working with me that can be found on the following websites:

Due to settling cases over a million dollars, I have been admitted to California’s Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

You can view my Past Settlements and Verdicts here.

For more information and to learn about my staff visit

Image Source: By Tony Webster BMW Car Fire, CC BY 2.0,

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