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Napa County Head-On Collision Causes Major Injury

Head-On Collision Near Calistoga Occurs Between Sedan and Box Truck

A head-on collision near Calistoga in Napa County resulted in major injuries to one person. The accident happened recently when the driver’s car, a Ford Contour, hit a box truck and then rolled down an embankment. The accident happened around 8:45 a.m along Highway 29, which is near Tubbs Lane and the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, according to the incident report issued by the California Highway Patrol (CHP)

Driver Enters Opposing Lane for Unknown Reason

The report stated that the head-on collision happened when the driver of the Ford, traveling in the southbound lane of the highway, went into a curve and crossed over into the opposing lane, striking a Freightliner truck. The vehicle went out of control after the impact and traveled around 75 feet down the embankment. 

Head-On Collision Under Investigation by Authorities

Matthew R. Currier, aged 61, was taken by an American Medical Response ambulance to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. A Ukiah man, age 35, who was driving the box truck, was uninjured in the crash. The accident is under investigation by the CHP to determine fault in the crash and exactly how it occurred. 

Head-On Collisions Are Often Deadly

Due to the combined momentum of vehicles involved in a head-on collision, this type of crash often results in serious injuries and fatalities. For example, if two vehicles are traveling at only 25 mph, the impact is equivalent to being hit by a vehicle going 50 mph. In addition, the front end of the car is usually badly damaged, causing flying debris that can cause major injury to occupants.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the occupants of the vehicles have a 58 percent mortality rate. Frontal crashes happen more often in rural areas and account for a good portion of all fatal accidents. 

Reasons for a Head-On Collision

There are many reasons that frontal collisions occur. Let’s look at some of the most common ones:

  • Speeding: The reason this results in a frontal crash is that it often causes the driver to lose control of their vehicle. When they do, veering into an opposing lane is common.
  • Driving impaired: Drunk or drug-impaired drivers frequently cause a head-on collision. This happens because the driver’s cognitive ability is impaired. Many times, this type of driver will enter the opposing lane or drive in the wrong direction on an exit ramp. 
  • Reckless drivers: In rural areas where two-lane roads are common, a reckless driver will travel in the opposing lane to pass another vehicle. This is especially dangerous on hills and curves, when it is difficult to see the road ahead.
  • Distracted driver: A motorist who is talking on the phone, texting, or changing the radio dial can enter an opposing lane without realizing it. 
  • Improper road maintenance: If the city or state agency in charge of road maintenance fails to clearly mark lanes, a motorist can travel in the opposite direction, striking another vehicle. In this case, an injured party can file a claim against the government agency.
  • Intersection accidents: A red-light runner can cause a frontal crash by going out into the intersection at the wrong time. Other vehicles that are legally in the intersection are likely to be struck head-on.
  • Defective auto part: When an auto part is defective, it can result in a frontal crash. The most common are tire and brake failure and steering defects. A product liability lawsuit can be filed against the manufacturer.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Our firm dispatches investigators to the scene of the accident where they search for evidence. They interview witnesses, look for surveillance camera footage of the accident and review police reports for mistakes. They also use accident reconstruction techniques to determine liability. Once the evidence is accumulated, it is given to our injury lawyers as they build a strong case for our clients.

Napa Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Napa personal injury lawyer. If you or a family member is injured in a head-on collision, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Call me at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400, or reach out to me online for my free and friendly advice. We will schedule a free case review where your questions are answered, and you are given the options you have going forward.

I am honored to belong to the following organizations:

Learn more about my practice using the links below:

Photo attribution: Image by Vladyslav Topyekha from Pixabay 

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