Five Killed in Truck Crash on State Route 86 in Riverside County

Five Killed in Big Rig Crash in Thermal

Five parties were killed in a traffic crash involving a big rig in Thermal on January 14, 2023. The truck accident occurred at the intersection of State Route 86 and 81st Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Details on the Big Rig Crash in Thermal That Killed Five People

A preliminary report revealed that a big rig was traveling southbound on Highway 86 while a Volkswagen Jetta was headed eastbound on 81st Avenue. The big rig reportedly struck the driver’s side of the Volkswagen. The truck driver was uninjured in the crash, officials said.

Sadly, the five parties inside the Volkswagen were declared deceased at the crash site. Authorities have identified the driver as a 26-year-old woman from Thermal and the passengers as a 24-year-old woman from Coachella, a 23-year-old man from Thermal, and two children aged seven and six.

An investigation into the circumstances leading up to the fatal semi-truck collision is ongoing by CHP traffic officers. According to the CHP, it was determined that the trucker was not suspected to be under the influence at the time of the incident. Additional info from investigators was not immediately available.

Things Survivors Should Know About Wrongful Death Truck Accident Cases

When a family is deprived of a loved one due to the carelessness or negligence of another party or entity, surviving family members may seek reimbursement for their losses through a wrongful death claim. Eligible survivors may be compensated for financial and intangible losses like mental anguish, loss of companionship, lost earnings, funeral service costs, medical bills for end-of-life treatment (recoverable via survival action), and other wrongful death-related damages.

In the context of a fatal commercial truck accident case, several parties and entities may be held liable for the resulting damages. For instance, the trucking company that employed the trucker may be negligent for overworking the driver without sufficient rest per hours of service (HOS) regulations. Conversely, a trucking firm may also be held accountable for hiring drivers with insufficient experience behind the wheel of a big rig and failing to conduct thorough background checks. An independent investigation into the incident by an experienced injury lawyer is recommended in such cases.

It is always in a family’s best interest to seek the assistance and advice of an experienced California truck accident attorney before settling a claim for less than what they deserve. Contact our legal team from for a free consultation and learn how we can help you with your case. We have decades of combined experience handling commercial trucking collision cases and would be honored to put it to work for you and your claim. Learn more about our accident lawyers by watching this video.

About Our Law Firm

At, our legal team has the resources to conduct an independent investigation into a commercial truck accident to identify all at-fault parties. We work with experts in the field, including accident reconstruction experts, who can provide their insight into the incident, help us understand how the incident resulted in fatal injuries, and which parties should be held liable for damages incurred. The trucking company and their insurer will dispatch teams to the crash site immediately and so should you and your family. Therefore, do not delay and consider retaining legal counsel today to protect your family’s rights and future.

Truck Accident Lawyer in California

I’m Ed Smith, a California truck accident lawyer. The loss of a family member may be emotionally and financially devastating. It may be challenging to navigate the legal process of obtaining damages from the at-fault party. Get the support of our wrongful death lawyers and receive free, friendly case advice by dialing (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

We are dedicated to providing our clients with a high level of excellence and committed to meeting their goals. Our law firm is not only experienced in California wrongful death law but also compassionate when working with our clients who are trying to grieve and come to terms with their loss. Learn how we have helped others by reading our client comments and reviews on Google, Avvo, and Yelp.

Since 1982, the legal team from has worked diligently to secure maximum financial compensation on behalf of clients in a wide array of accident cases. Some of our results have earned us recognition and membership in the Top 1 Percent and Million Dollar Advocates Forum. You are invited to browse our past case results featured on our settlements and verdicts page.

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