Single Car Crash Near Auburn Results in Fatality

Deadly Single Car Incident

On the morning of Wednesday, July 21, 2021, a single-car crash occurred north of Auburn, near Applegate Road on eastbound Interstate 80. The driver was killed.

Reports of a solo vehicle crash came into emergency dispatch shortly before 10:50 a.m. Officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and personnel from Placer Fire quickly responded. Upon arrival, they found that a vehicle had departed the highway and continued down an embankment. 

Several Witnesses Give Their Accounts

According to the collision report prepared by the CHP, witnesses indicated that a Mercedes-Benz sedan was heading east on I-80 when it suddenly veered into a guardrail located on the right shoulder, after which it continued down the embankment and collided head-on with a tree. The sedan then burst into flames.

The driver of the Mercedes was pronounced dead at the scene by personnel from the Placer County Fire Department. The identification of the driver has not been released, and it was not known if alcohol or drugs were a factor. That determination will be made by the Placer County Coroner’s Office, which will perform toxicology testing.

Crash Investigation Remains Ongoing

The Auburn office of the CHP is continuing the investigation into this deadly crash. Anyone with further information should contact that office.

Why Do Vehicles Leave the Roadway?

For some reason, the phenomenon of a single car veering off the road and crashing is not uncommon. It always raises the question of what caused the vehicle to veer so drastically off its path.  This type of accident is one variation of a wrong-way crash, and the reasons for such incidents are varied. Some of the factors that are commonly found in a single-vehicle wrong-way crash are:

  • A solo driver without passengers
  • The driver is in an older age bracket
  • Alcohol or drug impairment
  • Fatigue/drowsy driving

If we look at the above factors individually, we can better understand how each may relate to a car leaving the road.  A solo driver may become tired without anyone to talk to and may fall asleep behind the wheel. Further, if no one else is in the vehicle, there is no one to notice that the driver is showing signs of fatigue.  Studies done on older drivers have revealed that their reaction time is decreased. They also may be more prone to fatigue.  The reasons that drug or alcohol impairment may cause such a crash are multi-faceted. Not only does substance impairment cause a lack of judgment, decreased reaction time, and distorted depth perception, but all of this can be compounded by the substance causing drowsiness. An impaired motorist may even pass out behind the wheel.

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below, from TODAY, explains how dangerous drowsy driving can be.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Auburn

Thank you for visiting our legal blog and taking the time to read about this single-vehicle fatal crash in Auburn, California. I’m Ed Smith, and I’m an Auburn personal injury attorney. While single-vehicle accidents do happen with surprising regularity, most of the time two or more vehicles are involved in a collision. When there are multiple motorists involved, there is usually one who caused the entire crash due to negligent driving behavior. Unfortunately, Northern California is the setting for injury accidents and fatal car crashes daily. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a careless driver, or if your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to a wrongful death incident, a skilled injury lawyer can help. Following a serious accident, call our office to receive compassionate, free, and friendly advice. Our telephone number is (530) 392-9400. If you will be calling from a different area code, we provide a toll-free line: (800) 404-5400.

Please see our settlements and verdicts page for past case results.

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