Traffic Fatality Reported in Chico

Car Goes Off Road at Highway 32 Intersection

A single-vehicle traffic fatality occurred in Chico on March 20 after the car went off the road. The accident happened around 6:57 a.m. along Highway 32 at Forest Avenue, according to a Chico Police Department press release. When officers arrived at the accident scene, they discovered the car had hit a tree when it left the road at that intersection. 

Passenger With Critical Injuries Transported to Hospital

The male who was driving the vehicle died at the scene. A female passenger suffered critical injuries and was transported to a hospital. The deceased driver was identified by the Butte County Coroner’s Office as Lance Ostrander, age 44. 

Roadway Closed Four Hours While Investigation Is Held Into Traffic Fatality

The woman was not carrying any identification at the time of the crash. A dog in the vehicle was transported by officers to a veterinary hospital. The roadway remained closed for four hours or more as officers with the Major Accident Investigation Team determined how the accident occurred.

Causes of Run-Off-Road Accidents

When a vehicle leaves the road and results in a traffic fatality, it is usually caused by mistakes made by the driver. These errors include speeding or distracted driving, and others. Occasionally, an accident in which one vehicle is involved is caused by something out of the ordinary. An agreement may be reached with the at-fault party in order to compensate the injured person for their pain and suffering, as well as their medical bills. 

Mechanical Failure May Cause a Run-Off-Road Traffic Fatality

The defective components in a vehicle, such as steering, brakes, tires, accelerator or the motor, can lead to accidents. Examples include:

  • Power steering failure: A locked steering wheel can prevent the driver from controlling their vehicle.
  • Brake failure: The driver’s brakes stop working, which can cause a traffic fatality.
  • Defective tires: Sudden tread separation or a blowout can make the driver lose control.
  • Accelerator problems: An accelerator that sticks can prevent the driver from controlling their speed or slowing down, which leads to a traffic fatality.
  • Engine failure: Failure of the engine suddenly can lead to a fatal accident.

When a mechanical defect causes an accident, an auto product liability lawyer can help you file a lawsuit. The vehicle should not be destroyed after an accident, so engineers can check it for defects.

Government Negligence Can Lead to Traffic Fatality Accidents

Run-off-road crashes can also be caused by potholes, poor road design, pavement upheavals and poorly marked signs. If someone dies due to government negligence, the designer or government entity may be held liable financially. The statute of limitations is different to bring a claim against a government entity, so consulting an attorney is not a bad idea. In this way, you can ensure that all paperwork is completed correctly and the claim filed before it’s too late. If the claim is filed too late, the courts will refuse to hear the case.

Making a Claim Against a Government Entity for a Traffic Fatality

The time limit for filing a lawsuit after being injured by government negligence is six months. The government has up to 45 days to respond to it. A lawsuit may be filed within the following six months if the claim is denied. You have two years to file a lawsuit against a government entity if you do not receive a response within that initial 45 days. 

Chico Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Chico personal injury lawyer. When you have lost a loved one or have been injured in an accident caused by negligence, call us at (530) 392-9400 for our free, friendly advice. You can also contact us either at (800) 404-5400 or by sending us an online message. We can arrange a free consultation online or in-person to review your case, answer questions and let you know about options to recover compensation.

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Photo attribution: Image by Rico Löb from Pixabay 

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