Deadly Colusa County Crash
On the evening of Sunday, July 11, 2021, one person lost their life and at least four other people suffered injuries in a Colusa County car crash. The scene of the accident was southwest of Williams, California, on Highway 20 near Highway 16. Responders included the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and four helicopters. The helicopters transported four people, some of whom were children, to hospitals in Vacaville and Sacramento.
Initial Details of the Accident
According to CHP officials, shortly before 8:00 p.m., a man was traveling west on Highway 20 in the vicinity of Highway 16. For unknown reasons, he veered across the solid double-yellow lane dividers into eastbound traffic. At the same time, a vehicle with four occupants was traveling eastbound on the same stretch of road and was unable to avoid the head-on collision. The driver of the westbound vehicle was declared dead at the scene.
Additional Information Released
Sources report that the deceased driver was a 57-year-old resident of Clearlake, in Lake County, California. The Williams CHP office withheld his name until his family could be notified. He had been operating a 2014 Toyota Tacoma pickup and was driving at a high rate of speed. The eastbound vehicle, a 2017 Dodge Durango, was being driven at approximately 55 miles per hour by a 27-year-old man who is a resident of Orland, California. The other three occupants of the vehicle – a 40-year old woman, a 5-year-old girl, and a 7-year-old boy, are also residents of Orland.
The Durango driver attempted to turn to avoid the collision, but the left front of the Toyota pickup crashed into the left front of the Durango. The impact caused the driver’s door to detach from the Toyota. The driver of the Toyota was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected, suffering fatal injuries. The occupants of the Durango were all properly restrained, and although injured, survived the crash.
The Investigation Continues
The investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Veering Into Oncoming Traffic
A head-on collision that one cannot avoid is a terrifying thought. Head-on collisions are some of the worst accidents, causing a high number of fatalities and severe injuries. What would cause a driver to veer into oncoming traffic? Here are the three most common scenarios:
- Impaired Driving: It is estimated that drunk driving is the cause of around 60 percent of all wrong-way crashes. Judgment and reflexes are impaired by the use of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Drowsy Driving: A common scenario in head-on collisions occurs when one driver falls asleep at the wheel and allows their vehicle to drift into other lanes. According to some studies, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving.
- Distracted Driving: There is an epidemic of drivers being distracted by their mobile phones. Looking down to read or send a text, or consulting a GPS app can result in a driver veering from their lane. Distractions are not limited to cell phones, however. Other examples of distracted driving behavior include:
- Adjusting the audio system
- Fiddling with the side or rear-view mirrors
- Applying make-up
- Eating and drinking
Watch the YouTube video. The clip below documents a stretch of Highway 20 – some of it is two-lane, with oncoming traffic.
Williams Wrongful Death Lawyer
Hello, and thank you for reading. My name is Ed Smith, and I am a Williams, California wrongful death lawyer. If your family is grieving the loss of a loved one from a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may want to consider filing a wrongful death claim. While money will never erase your pain, it may help with some of the financial difficulties that an untimely and sudden death can leave behind. To speak with one of our compassionate injury lawyers and to receive free and friendly advice, call us at (800) 404-5400 or (530) 392-9400.
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