Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes Into Home in Rancho Cordova

Fatal Accident in Rancho Cordova

An elderly woman died, and two other family members were critically injured in Rancho Cordova on January 19, 2020, when a suspected drunk driver plowed into their house at the intersection of Georgetown Drive and Coloma Road. The woman who died was said to be in her 80s and passed away at the scene. The other two people who were injured, a woman, 45, and a man in his 50s were transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. It was reported that the family was at home watching the football game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers when the accident occurred at around 4:30 p.m. The incident is under investigation by detectives with the Rancho Cordova Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office to determine what happened. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office has identified the decedent as beloved mother and grandmother, Janice Williams.

Details of the Accident

According to reports, a motorist in a Kia Optima driving along Coloma Road crashed through the wall of the home’s living room after passing between two trees in the yard. The sedan ended up going over a sofa in the living room, pinning two people underneath the vehicle. A spokesperson for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said that fire personnel rescued both, which likely saved their lives. It was later reported that both of the people, identified as Jan Williams’ son and daughter-in-law, are expected to recover from their critical injuries. A GoFundMe page has been established on behalf of Ms. Williams’ family to help cover unforeseen expenses and loss of income. 

Alleged Drunk Driver Arrested for Causing the Accident

A relative of the family said the Kia crashed into the house after the driver had swerved to miss hitting another vehicle. According to the relative, identified as Pam Martin, the other motorist had cut off the person driving the Optima and headed south toward the nearby catholic church. The Kia’s driver remained at the scene and responded to questioning by authorities. The driver, 45, was later identified as a resident of Rancho Cordova and charged as a drunk driver. He was taken into custody by police and taken to the county jail in Sacramento. He is formally charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, among other charges.

Coloma Road Known for Accidents

Neighbors said that previous owners of the home that was struck had planted several trees a few years ago to protect the property from passing vehicles. Although the speed limit in that area is 40 mph, speeding is reportedly common. One neighbor,  Alissa Tramontanas, commented that the area was dangerous, and even though the posted speed limit is 25 mph, many people ignored the posted sign. In addition, she said this was the second time that the home involved in Sunday’s accident had been struck by a vehicle. The intersection, she reported, is also dangerous due to bushes that hide a driver’s view near an adjacent access road, and the speed limit needed to be lower, or there should be more police in the area. 

Losing a Loved One 

Losing a loved one after a sudden, unexpected accident can cause shock for the entire family. This can cause feelings of anger, loneliness and grief that are difficult to handle, especially if the death was caused by a drunk driver or other negligence. When this occurs, close friends and other family members are needed. The following are ways to help the bereaved during this time:

  • Make yourself available to talk to the grieving party. Frequently, they may want to go over the accident repeatedly. This is a way for the unthinkable to become real in their minds.
  • Bring prepared food to the house. Cooking is probably low on their list of things to do or think about. Make sure you ask about any foods they are unable to eat before preparing the meals.
  • Ask if you can do the shopping for them. Pick up needed food and other supplies, including prescription medication.
  • Offer to drive the grieving family to appointments.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Nothing can bring back the person you loved. However, a wrongful death claim can relieve the financial burden that accompanies a person’s death caused by a drunk driver. This includes funeral and burial expenses as well as other losses. The wrongful death lawsuit is one way to tell a negligent person or government agency that there are consequences to their actions. This will help others in the future and provide justice to a grieving family.

How an Attorney Can Help

At our firm, we all understand and empathize with the loss of a loved one. We want to help you through this difficult time and offer a free consultation to review your case against a negligent party. Our investigative team goes to the accident site to discuss the accident with witnesses and uses reconstruction techniques to see why the crash occurred. Our investigators look for other evidence at the scene and examine reasons such as road defects that may have led to the problem. If speeding or problems with seeing oncoming vehicles is an issue, then the government agency in charge of road conditions and traffic flow may be held accountable also. If traffic lights are outfitted with video cameras, we obtain the footage of the crash or events leading up to it. Once all evidence is available, the investigative team submits it to our lawyers, who use it to build a strong case.

Rancho Cordova Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Rancho Cordova wrongful death lawyer. If you have lost someone you love, I may be able to help. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400 for my free and friendly advice. You can also reach me online.

I’ve helped Rancho Cordova residents obtain the compensation they deserve in all types of car accidents, wrongful death cases, and other traumatic events.

I am a proud member of the Million Dollar Advocates and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

Please go to the following pages to learn more about my practice:

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/death-funeral-coffin-mourning-2421820/

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