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Single-Vehicle Crash Claims Life of Sacramento Woman

Driver Loses Control of Vehicle on Interstate 5

A single-vehicle crash in Elk Grove resulted in a fatality after the driver lost control on April 24. The accident occurred around 7:38 in the evening, when a caller to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported a reckless driver along southbound I-5 near Laguna Boulevard who was driving a white SUV. The accident involving the same vehicle was reported to police a little while later near Hood-Franklin Road. 

Sacramento Woman Dies After Losing Control of Her Vehicle

When the police arrived, they discovered that the driver had lost control while going south along the interstate. The SUV had crossed over the center median into the opposing lanes, rolled and ended up in a field. It was discovered that a Sacramento woman, age 33, had died in the collision. She was identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office as Jessie Marie Scalf

Infants in Vehicle Unharmed

Two infants were riding in the vehicle at the time of the rollover accident. They were transported as a precaution to UC Davis Medical Center. The infants suffered no injuries in the single-vehicle crash and were released later to their father. The accident is being investigated by the CHP to determine how it occurred.

Causes of a Single-Vehicle Crash

Single-vehicle crashes occur for a number of reasons. Most are due to driver error, however, there are other forces that can come into play that lead to a traffic fatality. These include:

  • Mechanical defects: An auto defect such as one with the tires, accelerator, brakes, or steering can lead to a solo vehicle accident. A driver who can’t slow down because of a stuck accelerator or apply the brakes because they fail are examples. If an auto defect caused the death of someone in the vehicle, the family may be able to place a lawsuit against the manufacturer, parts designer and others through an auto product liability claim. This is why the vehicle should be retained following a rollover accident, so engineers can check it for auto defects.
  • Government negligence: Government neglect in maintaining the roadways may lead to a single-vehicle crash. Types of negligence can include poor lighting, potholes, heaved pavement, and others. The government entity charged with maintaining the area may be held liable in these cases. However, because the timeline for filing against a government entity is shorter, using the services of a personal injury lawyer can be helpful. This will ensure that the paperwork is filed on time before the statute of limitations runs out. 
  • Swerving to avoid a collision: When another motorist crowds a driver, tailgates, or makes another dangerous maneuver, it can cause the first to try and take an evasive action. This may involve swerving or speeding up to get away from the aggressive driver. Witnesses can be found who saw this dangerous behavior, and traffic and road surveillance cameras can be checked to see if the other driver is caught on video threatening another motorist. If the video exists, it can be subpoenaed and a wrongful death claim placed against the driver.

Roof Crush in a Rollover

Some vehicles are more likely to experience a rollover than others, including light trucks, vans, and SUVs, because of their higher center of gravity. In some vehicles, roof crush occurs. Although manufacturers are required to construct vehicles that will not experience roof crush if the vehicle rolls, not all of them do. This is another reason the vehicle should be retained, so it can be checked to see if the manufacturer was negligent.

In the following video, lawyer Ed Smith explains what a wrongful death claim is:


Wrongful Death Lawyer in Sacramento

My name is Ed Smith, and I am a wrongful death lawyer in Sacramento. Not all single-vehicle crashes are caused by driver error. If your loved one was lost in an accident and you suspect that an outside force was the cause, call me for my free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400. I can also be contacted online if that is easier for you.

I belong to Million Dollar Advocates and the Top 1 Percent.

More information about my law firm and how we’ve helped others over the years is found below:

My legal team and I have helped Sacramentans in obtaining compensation for claims involving wrongful deaths, traumatic injuries, and all varieties of traffic accidents since 1982.

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