Update | Red Light Runner Kills Woman in Intersection Crash

Sacramento Woman Killed in Intersection by Negligent Driver

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers reported that the driver of a pickup went through a red light in Sacramento on May 26, T-boning another vehicle and killing the female driver in an intersection crash. The accident happened at the Elsie Avenue intersection with Stockton Boulevard around 8:30 in the morning. Witnesses to the deadly accident said the pickup ran the light and then broadsided an SUV that was legally passing through the intersection. 

Driver Arrested for Suspicion of Driving Under the Influence in Intersection Crash

The impact of the intersection crash resulted in the SUV experiencing a rollover. The driver, 35-year-old Veronica Vargas of Sacramento, died at the accident scene, and a minor was seriously injured and is in critical condition at a local hospital. The pickup driver, an Elk Grove man, age 32, attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by bystanders. The pickup driver was subsequently arrested on charges of suspicion of driving under the influence.

Liability in a Wrongful Death in California

The estate of a deceased person or their immediate family can bring a wrongful death lawsuit if the fatality was caused by the following reasons:

  • Negligence is careless behavior such as speeding, distracted driving and others.
  • Gross negligence means that someone had a reckless and extreme disregard for the safety of others, which led to a fatal accident.
  • Recklessness in California refers to someone who realizes their behavior could harm others but did it anyway. This is a higher standard than negligence or gross negligence.
  • An intentional act such as murder caused by someone allows filing a wrongful death claim in civil court. 

Factors Contributing to Rollover Accidents

There are many types of accidents, including an intersection crash, that can cause a vehicle to roll over, and they are among the most dangerous that can occur. Although airbags initially inflate, they quickly deflate and do not provide additional protection. Furthermore, seat belts are designed to withstand 1,000 pounds of force, but a defect can cause the device to release, which can cause the occupant to be thrown around in the vehicle. 

Rollovers More Likely in Certain Vehicles

Rollovers are most likely to occur in light trucks, SUVs and vans. Any vehicle, however, can experience a rollover in the right conditions such as a T-bone crash. Another added danger is the potential for roof crush. This dangerous complication in a rollover occurs when the vehicle’s roof and supports can’t prevent it from caving in when a rollover occurs. Auto manufacturers are required to add strength to a vehicle to prevent roof crush but don’t always do so.

Holding Onto the Vehicle

In the event of a rollover, roof crush could cause severe injuries or even death to the occupants of the vehicle. Therefore, keeping the vehicle to preserve the evidence is important. Engineers can examine the vehicle to determine whether a defect or roof crush contributed to the intersection crash injuries. It may be possible for the family to bring a claim for product liability against the manufacturer in such a case. 

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer 

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. Your family might place a wrongful death claim when your loved one died due to negligence. For free and friendly advice, contact us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. We can also be reached online. When you call us, we can set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers, either in person or virtually, to review your case and inform you about possible ways to obtain compensation.

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Photo attribution: Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay 

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