Wreck Leaves Red Bluff Man Dead

Chris Nichols Jeep

What Happened?

39-year-old Christopher Nichols from Red Bluff, California was out driving on Red Bank Road, east of White Oak Road. At some time around midnight, Christopher Nichols started to drift towards the edge of the road. He continued drifting to the right and completely left the pavement. The Jeep, a 1992 Wrangler, hit a drainage ditch that ran alongside Red Bank Road. Nichols was traveling at a high enough speed that the four-wheel drive Jeep was launched into the air after hitting the ditch.

Tragically, the driver was not buckled into the vehicle via a seat belt and was thrown from the driver’s seat after the violent launch into the air off the back side of the ditch. The Jeep Wrangler landed upright in a field adjacent to the ditch, it is unknown if Nichols landed on or around the vehicle. The California Highway Patrol disclosed limited information about the accident during a press release on Monday, September 18. The accident is still being investigated to determine if there were other factors in the situation such as wildlife or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol that may have caused Mr. Nichols to drive off the road.

Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Mr. Nichols during this difficult time.

Possible Injuries

The injuries sustained during this car accident were fatal and may give investigators an idea of the speed that the Jeep was traveling when it hit the ditch. Because the driver was not properly restrained with a seat belt, the first impact at the bottom of the ditch- having slowed the vehicle considerably- would cause the drivers body to collide with the steering wheel or dashboard. This first impact could have caused serious injuries to the chest and head. Broken ribs are a common result of hitting a steering wheel while driving unrestrained. Head trauma could have knocked the driver out as he hit the dashboard or windshield.

After hitting the bottom of the ditch, the Jeep Wrangler bounced off the other edge of the drainage ditch and became airborne, throwing the driver from the seat and clear out of the vehicle. The drop back onto the ground could have caused a number of other injuries as well as worsened ones sustained in the primary impact. Fractured, sprained, and/or crushed limbs were likely to occur upon landing on the ground. The unconscious driver would have no way of bracing for the impact. Depending on the terrain, a rough landing can cause additional breaks or lacerations. In the most catastrophic cases, head, neck or back injuries can cause fatal damage to a persons nervous system. A fall can also cause fractured ribs to pierce lungs, the heart, or other organs that could result in fatal internal bleeding.

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Red Bluff Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Red Bluff Wrongful Death Lawyer. I have been serving the Red Bluff and Northern California community for 35 years helping people hurt in accidents. Losing a loved one is never an easy experience, but advice from an experienced lawyer can help bring closure and cover costs. If someone you love has been hurt or killed in an accident, please call me at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, friendly, and free advice. You can also reach me online.

I have been working for the people of Red Bluff and Northern Californian cities as an accident lawyer for over three decades. Visit my website autoaccident.com to learn more about me and my practice and see past settlements and verdicts I have won for my clients.

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I am also an injury/trial lawyer on milliondollaradvocates.com, a forum for trial lawyers who have won a million dollars or more in a case verdict or settlement.

Photo Credit: 1992 Jeep YJ by Sfoskett. CC BY-SA 3.0
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