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Motorist Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash Outside Auburn

Single-Vehicle Crash Claims One Life

Late in the evening of Sunday, June 6, 2021, a motorist was killed in a one-vehicle collision on Highway 49, southeast of the city of Auburn, in El Dorado County, according to a representative from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The involved vehicle was a pickup truck, and it collided with a tree shortly after 11:45 p.m. The incident occurred between the towns of Pilot Hill and Cool along Highway 49, according to the online activity log issued by the CHP. The stretch of Highway 49, where the crash occurred, ultimately connects Auburn and Placerville.

Shortly after midnight on Monday morning, the coroner was dispatched after reports were received that at least one person had suffered fatal injuries. 

Late Night Fatal Accidents

Despite there being around 60% fewer cars on the roads late at night, approximately 40% of fatal crashes occur in the late-night hours. The absence of light coupled with compromised night vision makes driving at night more dangerous than daylight driving. Darkness affects a driver’s peripheral vision, depth perception, and recognition of color. Headlights from on-coming traffic can also blind drivers. 

Other factors that contribute to the dangers of night driving are driver fatigue and the fact that drivers are more likely to be impaired when it’s late at night. Clearly, the reasons for the disproportionate number of fatal accidents at night are multi-factorial, but many have to do with decreased visibility. Regular headlights limit driver visibility to around 250 feet, and high beams double that. Either way, there is much less time for a driver to react to any unexpected obstacles on the road. To help mitigate the problems of visibility, drivers can do the following: 

  • Make sure the vehicle’s headlights are clean and properly aimed
  • Do not stare directly into oncoming headlights
  • Dim the vehicle’s dashboard lights
  • If you wear glasses, get them with anti-glare lenses
  • Keeping the windshield clean
  • Reduce your speed

The Dangers of Highway 49 

Ponderosa pines line scenic Highway 49. Historically, there have been a number of fatal accidents along the stretch between Auburn and Placerville. At one point, there were a number of roadside memorials reminding motorists of the deaths that had occurred and perhaps serving as an incentive to drive cautiously. In 2006, the California Highway Patrol began increased enforcement of speeders and impaired or distracted drivers in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities. Road grooves and rumble strips were also installed to prevent drivers from falling asleep along the highway. 

To this day, however, much like on any other highway in Northern California, Highway 49 continues to see its fair share of traffic fatalities, with Sunday night’s tragedy being the latest.

Our law firm offers our condolences to the family of the deceased motorist.

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below offers a driver’s-eye view of a trip along Highway 49.

Auburn Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello. Thank you for reading our report on this tragic fatal accident on Highway 49. My name is Ed Smith, and I am an Auburn personal injury lawyer. Deadly accidents happen with alarming frequency on the highways and streets of Northern California.  Many of these crashes result in serious injuries or wrongful deaths. An experienced injury lawyer can help an injured person or a grieving family navigate the complexities involved in a legal case.  Being assured that your legal rights are protected can allow you to focus on healing. If you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by a negligent driver, please promptly call our office for compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice. Our local number is (530) 392-9400, and from outside the area, please use our toll-free number: (800) 404-5400.

The settlements and verdicts page on our website includes a sampling of our case results.

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