Single-Vehicle Rollover Claims Lives of Three Teens Near Lathrop

Car Exits Dos Reis Road and Ends up in the San Joaquin River

A single-vehicle rollover on December 23 caused the death of three teens from Manteca and injured one other. The accident occurred near Lathrop when the Honda Accord the teens were riding in exited Dos Reis Road sometime around 10:00 p.m. and ended up in the San Joaquin River, according to the report by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The report on the tragic accident said that the driver, a Manteca teen, age 17, was speeding at the time the accident occurred.

Details of the Single-Vehicle Rollover Accident

The CHP reported that the vehicle the four teens were riding in continued on at the end of the road at the river, passed over a levee and through a fence. At that point, it overturned and ended up in the river on its roof. The driver of the vehicle was believed to have been drinking at the time of the accident and was placed under arrest.

Fatalities and Injuries in the Single-Vehicle Rollover

The Manteca teen driving the car reportedly suffered minor injuries but managed to exit the vehicle. Two girls, ages 16 and 17, died at the accident scene. Another Manteca girl, 16, was extricated from the Honda and had to be resuscitated. She was transported to a hospital where she later passed away.

Driving Drunk

Unfortunately, over 10,000 people die each year due to a drunk driver. Inebriated drivers are unable to control their vehicles, lack the ability to make decisions, get confused and often pass into oncoming lanes and drive at unsafe speeds. Despite heavy fines and imprisonment, especially when a fatality is involved, drunk driving continues to be a major reason for traffic collisions.

Single-Vehicle Rollover in Drunk Driving Accidents

Speeding is a critical reason for a vehicle rollover, and this is common in a drunk driving accident, especially on a curve. When the vehicle driver is speeding, the gravitational force that holds it to the road is broken. This is particularly true with high vehicles such as SUVs, light trucks, and vans. 

In a rollover, an essential, mandated safety element is that the roof can withstand three and one-half times the weight of the vehicle. If it doesn’t, the roof can crush down on the occupants, causing a fatal accident.

Can Passengers File a Lawsuit Against the Driver?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Passengers injured in an accident or their loved ones if the passengers were killed can file a lawsuit against the driver. This is particularly true if the driver was drunk. This is understandable since the passengers have little control over the situation. While claims against the driver in a wrongful death lawsuit can do little to relieve the family’s grief, it does help them obtain justice for the decedent.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in a Single-Vehicle Rollover

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, there are many nuances you need to be aware of.  For instance, in a single-vehicle crash, the car may rollover due to road conditions, such as potholes, that are caused in part by the lack of road maintenance. The lawsuit can be filed against the city or state agency in charge of road maintenance. Since the time to file is different in this situation, it is important to get the advice of an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

How a Law Firm Can Help

In a single-vehicle rollover accident, we dispatch our investigative team to the scene of the accident to gather evidence, a key factor in the claim. We interview witnesses, perform accident reconstruction techniques, examine the vehicle for defects and review police reports for mistakes. Once the evidence is gathered, we turn it over to our legal team to build a robust case against the defendant.

Learn more about a wrongful death lawsuit by viewing the following video presented by attorney Ed Smith:

Manteca Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith,  a Manteca wrongful death lawyer. You can find free and friendly advice about filing a wrongful death claim when a negligent driver took the life of your loved one by calling us at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400. You can also contact us online.

Helpful information on how our team of injury lawyers has helped other grieving families with their wrongful death claims can be found among the links that follow:

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Our legal team at has helped many families in obtaining compensation for wrongful deaths and all kinds of car accidents since 1982.

Photo attribution:; Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 

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