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Fatal Crash Claims Life of Carmichael Woman

Carmichael Woman Dies in Fresno County Single-Vehicle Collision

A fatal crash occurred on April 25, claiming the life of a Carmichael woman when the driver of the U-Haul she was riding in lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. The accident occurred along northbound Highway 99 at Fowler in Fresno County around 8:00 in the morning. Officers with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and a bystander managed to save the driver of the U-Haul but were unable to rescue the Carmichael woman, who was a passenger. 

Driver Loses Control of His Vehicle, Which Strikes Tree and Catches on Fire

According to investigators, after the driver lost control of the truck, which swerved, it went off the road and down an embankment, striking the tree head-on. The impact was so strong that the engine compartment was forced into the truck’s cabin area. Following the collision, the U-Haul caught fire, which prevented officers from removing the woman from the wreckage. 

Driver of U-Haul Transported to Hospital With Major Injuries

The driver of the truck suffered major injuries and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center at Fresno for medical treatment. The Carmichael woman who died in the crash was later identified as Summer Eitel, age 39, by the County Coroner’s Office in Fresno. The accident is under investigation by authorities to determine what made the driver lose control. 

Liability in a U-Haul Truck Accident Fatal Crash

Liability in a U-Haul truck accident fatal crash is generally limited to the driver because the vehicle is rented. However, there are instances in which the company may be liable. These instances are when:

  • If a driver without a driver’s license rented the truck, the company may be held liable. U-Haul trucks are not considered commercial vehicles, so a CDL license is not required, just one to drive a motor vehicle.
  • If the driver was of an age that was too young or unfit to drive the truck, the company could potentially be liable for a fatal crash.
  • If the driver was intoxicated or the individual who rented the vehicle to them realized they had been drinking and an injury or fatal accident occurred, a lawsuit could be placed against the company.
  • If mechanical issues with the truck due to defect or lack of maintenance resulted in an injury or fatal accident, the company could be liable. A bad tire that causes a blowout or mushy brakes can easily cause a fatal crash.

Recovering Compensation Following a U-Haul Truck Accident Fatal Crash

A grieving family wishing to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim after a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence benefits from the help and advice of an injury lawyer. Most cases of these types are settled through insurance, however, when a rental truck is involved, it can become more complicated than in a normal collision for the following reasons:

  • Although the driver of the vehicle probably has their own auto insurance coverage, it likely isn’t enough to cover the family’s losses. Not all auto policies cover rental vehicles.
  • Drivers who rent a U-Haul can purchase insurance from the company. Their SafeMove Plus policy provides $1 million coverage for bodily injury, personal injury lawsuits, and property damage.
  • If a vehicle defect or lack of maintenance is found to be responsible for the fatal crash, the company itself may be liable. 

Our injury lawyers are experienced in handling accident injuries and fatalities that involve rental trucks. We’re here for you with compassionate help, so that your family can concentrate on getting through this difficult period without the worry of financial stress.

Carmichael Wrongful Death Attorney

I am Ed Smith, a Carmichael wrongful death attorney. When a loved one has been lost to you because of a negligent driver, the family may be entitled to file a claim for wrongful death. Although this will not ease your burden of sorrow and loss, it may help bring closure to know the at-fault party will be held responsible. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 if you are interested in my compassionate, free, and friendly advice. I can be reached online also if that is easier for you.

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