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Two Separate Highway 299 Traffic Crashes Cause Fatalities

Two Fatal Traffic Crashes Occur on Same Day Along Highway 299

Two people killed in separate traffic crashes recently along Highway 299 on the same day have been identified by authorities. In the first incident that day, a Hayfork resident, Michael Merlyn Mead, age 69, died after colliding with a semi near John F. Kennedy Memorial Drive off Highway 299 around noon after the driver reportedly crossed into oncoming traffic. As a result, the semi’s gas tank was ruptured, and both vehicles burned. The resulting blaze started the Kennedy fire, which burned 45 acres. 

Red Bluff Resident Killed Near Buckhorn Summit

In the second incident that evening, Christopher Watson, a Red Bluff resident, age 46, was allegedly killed in a head-on crash involving a big rig along the highway close to Buckhorn Summit, which is near the Trinity/Shasta County line. According to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, after colliding with the big rig, a fire ensued and the vehicle struck a guardrail. 

Fatal Traffic Crashes Involving Big Rigs

In some cases, negligent motorists cause traffic crashes. In others, negligent truck drivers or the companies that employ them are at fault. If a truck accident is found to be the fault of the driver or their company, they can be held liable for the death of your loved one. Some of the reasons these accidents happen are:

  • Truckers who are speeding can cause traffic crashes if they suddenly come upon a slower-moving vehicle up ahead.
  • Distracted driving is a problem with truckers as it is with other motorists.
  • Fatigued driving is a serious problem for truck drivers, who commonly drive more than 600 miles per day. Fatigue can lead to a fatal accident involving others if the driver isn’t awake enough to stay alert.
  • Drugged driving can be a problem with truckers as they try to stay awake during a long haul.

Recovering Compensation in Traffic Crashes Resulting in Fatalities

When negligence causes fatalities in a traffic accident, the immediate family members may file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation. One of our accident attorneys can review your case at no charge, explain the process and help gather the losses you suffered to help your family obtain the maximum compensation if we represent your family in your claim. In most wrongful death claims, the following is recoverable:

  • The deceased person’s wages can be recovered until they would have reached their retirement age. This includes salary, pension and insurance benefits and others.
  • The cost of the funeral and burial is recoverable.
  • The spouse can recover compensation for the loss of consortium, love and affection that was provided by the deceased.
  • The family children can recover damages for the loss of guidance and nurturing the deceased parent would have provided had they lived.
  • In some cases, loss of inheritance can be recovered.
  • Household assistance provided by the deceased is recoverable. Areas where a spouse helped around the home may include preparing the taxes yearly, lawn or child care, cleaning, laundry and others.

California Truck Accident Attorneys

I am Ed Smith, a California truck accident lawyer. Contact us for free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400. If you would prefer, we can also be reached online

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