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Head-On Crash Takes the Life of Two West Sacramentans

Northbound Old River Road Site of Deadly Head-On Crash

Two West Sacramento residents died on September 9 after being involved in a head-on crash near the Sacramento River in Yolo County, CA. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the accident happened shortly after 6:00 in the evening along northbound Old River Road and County Road 124 near Keisel. The driver of a 2016 Ford Fusion sedan was reported as speeding on the road and had crossed over into the opposing lane when their vehicle struck a 2017 Ford F-150 pickup head-on. The driver of the sedan died at the crash site and was identified as Francisco Clyde Tidwell Lopez, age 59, of West Sacramento. 

Other Driver in Head-On Crash Dies at Hospital

The other vehicle involved in the head-on crash was a pickup being driven by 75-year-old Kent Lang of West Sacramento. Although Mr. Lang was airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center, he passed away at the hospital. Another passenger in the truck suffered injuries described as moderate.

Accident Under Investigation

CHP investigators into the head-on crash reported that the driver of the sedan had been passing other motorists in an unsafe manner and driving recklessly, which may have led to the fatal accident. The head-on crash is currently under investigation to determine how the collision occurred and to assign fault. No information has been released on the identities of those who were involved, pending notification of family members.

Head-0n Collisions

A head-on crash is usually caused by driver negligence. Most head-on collisions occur on one-way streets or highways when a wrong-way driver is involved. However, rural head-on collisions are fairly common when a motorist attempts to pass a slower vehicle, sometimes unsafely. Without a clear view ahead when passing, a collision is possible. Some of the causes of head-on accidents include:

  • Distracted driving is a major cause of all types of accidents. A driver who is texting, talking on a cell phone or other behaviors takes their eyes from the road. It only takes a few seconds to end up in an accident.
  • Reckless drivers speed, change lanes unsafely, run red lights and exhibit other behaviors that disregard any care for others. This is the type of driver who commonly causes accidents, such as a head-on crash.
  • Drinking and driving is a major factor in a head-on crash. A driver who is inebriated lacks judgment and has their vision and reflexes adversely affected.
  • Fatigued drivers are those who are too tired to be driving. This may be caused by a medical condition, medicines, or just staying up too late the night before.

Losing a Loved One in an Accident

It is always a tragedy to lose a loved one but so much worse when the loss is due to another’s negligence. The family has no time to say goodbye and suffers from feelings of guilt and grief, wondering if there was anything they could have done to prevent it. Family members and friends can help by:

  • Calling or visiting to express their sympathy. A card and flowers are often welcome, too but ask first. Some families prefer a donation to a charity.
  • Offering to help such as running errands, cutting the grass, or even helping to clean the house.
  • When visiting, be a good listener. Talking helps a person work through their grief.

Please review the following video presented by attorney Ed Smith to learn more about a wrongful death claim:

The Financial Strain of a Wrongful Death

While family members are consumed with the emotional aspect of losing a loved one, they also need to deal with related financial issues. Many families have difficulty handling the cost of end-of-life expenses. Others find themselves worrying about how they will pay the rent or mortgage as well as other household expenses without the financial support provided by the deceased.

A wrongful death claim deals with the financial loss the family experiences. However, it does so much more. It provides the family with the justice they seek from the person or entity whose negligence cost them their loved one. 

West Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a West Sacramento personal injury lawyer. I’ve helped many families through this difficult time. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach out to me using our convenient contact form.

I’ve helped many clients obtain the compensation they deserve in all varieties of auto accidents, traumatic brain injuries and wrongful deaths.

I am a proud member of the following organizations:

Learn more about my practice by going to the pages listed below:

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