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Moorpark Man Killed in Accident on Highway 118

Home » Moorpark Man Killed in Accident on Highway 118
September 07, 2017
Edward Smith


Moorpark Man Killed in Accident on Highway 118

Two men who were killed recently in a multiple vehicle crash on U.S. Route 118 in the early morning hours were identified by the medical examiner’s office in Ventura County.

What Happened

According to a representative of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a Moorpark resident, Daniel Vaca, was traveling west on 118 near Stearns Street in an Acura at a high rate of speed when the 24-year-old rear ended a Toyota Camry. The collision caused the Acura to rollover, landing on the roof.

A man from Simi Valley, age 63, Christopher Lombard, who was heading east on 118, saw the accident happen. He stopped his vehicle on the median and headed into the westbound lanes to help Vaca. A Ford Fusion that was traveling westbound on 118 hit the Acura, striking both Vaca and Lombard. Both men were killed in the accident and pronounced deceased at the scene.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the two men who passed away in this accident.

The Fusion driver, also a Moorpark resident, suffered only minor injuries, according to authorities. The Toyota driver, 38, a resident of Panorama, was said to be uninjured.

The Investigation

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. As of this report, it is uncertain whether alcohol or drugs played a role. A Moorpark representative of the CHP said that this accident illustrates the danger of walking onto the highway. Speed was a factor in the initial crash.

Roof Collapse

Vehicles today are built with a protective zone around the occupants, helping to keep them safe in an accident. However, this zone can be intruded upon if the roof caves in during a rollover. Rollover accidents can be deadly, but the fatality rate is less if the occupants are wearing seat belts. However, roof cave ins due to manufacturer defect can be deadly despite precautions.

Danger of  Roof Collapse

Auto manufacturers are obligated to construct a vehicle with safeguards preventing injury. Roof structure is no exception. Using rollover bars and other supports to prevent a roof from collapsing onto occupants are ways to accomplish this. In rollover accidents where the vehicle lands on its roof, as in the case described above, the weight of the vehicle presses down on the roof. If the roof is unable to support that weight, the occupants are trapped in a deadly situation. Even if the collapse is not complete, the victims have a higher incidence of head, neck and brain injuries as well as spinal cord injury. It is also more difficult to extricate victims from the wreckage, losing valuable time.

Standards Upgraded to Prevent Roof Crush

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued rules in a comprehensive report  dealing with roof structure and support structure to prevent injury. For vehicles weighing a maximum of 6,000 pounds, the roof must support three times the weight of the vehicle when it is not loaded. This rule is expandable to vehicles with weights between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds. The upgrades were required on vehicles produced after September 2015.

Manufacturer Lack of Care

Manufacturers are aware of the necessity of and the rules issued by the NHTSA to ensure safety in rollover injuries. Despite this, many vehicles do not meet the necessary standards. Such defects, both in the design and manufacture of the vehicles, cause injury and death. The obligation and subsequent disregard for product safety is covered under product liability law.

What Is Product Liability Law

Product liability law involves the sale of a defective product that does not meet expected standards. In short, when a consumer buys a vehicle, the consumer has the right to expect that the product meets respective standards and is designed to ensure their safety. Under product liability law, the responsibility lies with those in the distribution chain as well as the manufacturer.

Types of Product Defects

There are three types of product defects. These are:

  • Manufacturing defects: These involve defects that occur when the product is manufactured or when it is assembled.
  • Design defects: This involves a feature of design that exists before the vehicle is manufactured despite safety issues.
  • Marketing defects: Marketing issues are involved in this category such as inadequate warnings.

Proof of Defects – How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help

It is necessary to show that the manufacturer failed to ensure safety by making sure the roof of a vehicle can withstand a certain amount of weight. While product tests may seem to conform with standards expected of the auto industry, it is important for an attorney to show conclusively that the vehicle in question did not meet the expected standards or only minimally met them.

Another area in which a roof crush attorney can help is by showing that federal guidelines may not have been met. Given the vast array of requirements that auto manufacturers are obligated to meet, an attorney with expertise in this area of the law is necessary. Proving that the person’s death was caused by a defect is one way a wrongful death lawyer helps the family when the decedent is no longer there.

Moorpark Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Moorpark wrongful death lawyer. Being involved in an accident where a family member is killed due to the vehicle’s lack of safety or because the vehicle is defective is hard on the family. If your loved one or you have suffered an injury due to a defective product, I can help by providing friendly and free advice. You can call me at (805) 372-0200. My toll-free number for your convenience is (800) 404-5400.

As a member of the Million Dollar Advocates forum, I am one of the 1 percent of trial lawyers in the country who have won verdicts or settlements of at least $1 million for their clients.

There are client reviews on Google, Avvo and Yelp. My Verdicts & Settlements page provides you with information about prior cases and their results.

For 35 years, I have served Californians, including those in Moorpark, as an injury lawyer, assisting clients with traumatic injuries or families who have lost a loved one in a wrongful death case to obtain fair compensation.

As the founder and owner of, I hope you enjoy my website and take the time to read information about an array of personal injuries.

Photo Attribution: Wikimedia Commons Rio_Grande_Valley_Border_Patrol_agents_provide_first_aid_to_accident_victim.jpg

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