Fatally Injured Napa Accident Victim Identified


Fatally Injured Napa Accident Victim Identified

I’m Ed Smith, a Napa wrongful death lawyer. On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, officials from Napa County identified a man who lost his life while assisting in the fight against the many fires affecting Northern California. The man was identified as Garrett Paiz, a 38-year-old volunteer firefighter from Missouri.

Accident Details

California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that this accident occurred at 6:45 in the morning on Monday, October 16, 2017. Paiz was attempting to drive up the winding Oakville Grade in Napa County.

CHP said that Paiz had been in the process of refilling a large 1993 Kenworth water tanker vehicle being used to assist in battling the Nuns fire, which spread northward from Sonoma County into Napa, when he lost control of the vehicle. After Paiz lost control of the tanker, the vehicle left the roadway and crashed through a guardrail before it plummeted about 20 feet down into a ravine a short distance away from the bottom of Oakville Grade where the road meets Highway 29.

A Hero

Authorities reported that Paiz had been a volunteer with the Noel Fire Department located in southwest Missouri, but had been working as a driver for Cal Fire in order to help residents of the severely impacted Northern California region. The man had not been familiar with the steep and curving roadway, which officials say is the steepest public roadway in all of Napa County.

Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Mr. Paiz during this difficult time, and we thank all those who put their lives on the line to save others.

Other Fire-Related Crashes and Injuries

CHP has reported that this accident is only one of many vehicle collisions related to the wildfires of October 2017. Officers have reported finding multiple overturned vehicles that crashed as a result of individuals attempting to escape the fires through thick smoke.

Additionally, six firefighter injuries have been reported in the California mountains to the north of Napa and Sonoma Counties as firefighters courageously attempt to quell blazes in Mendocino and Humboldt.

Containment Update

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) reported on Thursday, October 19, 2017, that they have made good progress on containment of the fires burning in Napa and Sonoma county and expect them to be fully contained by Friday, October 20, 2017. Light rains over the weekend are also expected to reduce the ongoing fires even further.

Despite great efforts from firefighters and volunteers from around the nation, the fires have already claimed 42 lives, making the complex of fires the most deadly in the modern history of California, with the next most-deadly being the 1933 Griffith Park fire in L.A. in which 29 people were killed.

More from Ed Smith, Napa Wrongful Death Lawyer

Napa Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Napa wrongful death lawyer. If you know somebody who has lost their life because of the negligence of others, call (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400 for my free, friendly advice. I can also be reached at

Since 1982, I have helped Napa residents with personal injury and wrongful death cases receive just repayments for their damages.

See Avvo, Google Plus, and Yelp to read reviews from my clients.

I’m in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group for trial attorneys with settlements or verdicts that had values of over 1 million dollars.

See our Past Settlements and Verdicts here. is Northern CA’s number one website for information and news about personal injury law and car collisions.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Fallen Hero Arrives, Senior Airman Rylan Albright, USAF. Public Domain
:ms rey [cs 631] cv

Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.