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Two Taken to Redding-Area Hospital After Car Crashes Into Tree

Fiery Crash on Happy Valley Road

On the night of Monday, July 26, 2021, two people were transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Redding for trauma evaluation and medical treatment after the car in which they were traveling crashed into a tree and ignited. The fiery collision occurred in the vicinity of Happy Valley Road and Erika Way, just before midnight, according to information released by the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Two Men Injured in Violent Impact

The two male occupants of the vehicle, an older model Toyota Celica, suffered major injuries.  The force of the impact was so violent, the front axle of the Celica was sheared off.

First Responders Contained the Fire

The area of the crash was surrounded by dry vegetation, but the firefighters that responded to the crash were able to extinguish the flames quickly enough to stop the fire from spreading.

The Aftermath of the Crash on Happy Valley Road

The terrible crash left behind the mangled wreckage of the Toyota Celica. While crews cleared the scene and police conducted their initial investigation, Happy Valley Road was closed to traffic.

Excessive Speed is a Suspected Factor

The CHP continues to investigate the cause of the crash but indicated that unsafe speed may have played a role.

Can an Older Model Vehicle Protect You in a Crash?

In this Happy Valley Road accident, there were several factors that could lead to serious, if not fatal, injuries. Any time a vehicle crashes into a large immovable object like a tree, especially if the vehicle was moving at a high speed, the force of impact will be great. Then, if the vehicle catches fire, such as in this instance, the likelihood of catastrophic injuries increases even more.  Even in light of all of these compounding factors, the size and age of the involved vehicle will also play a role.

The vehicle involved in Monday’s single-car crash was described by the CHP as an “older model” Toyota Celica. The last model year that vehicle was produced was 2005, so the car was at least 16 years old. However, Celicas were popular with young people for years prior to 2005. They were first manufactured in 1971, and Toyotas run forever, so this particular vehicle could have been even older than that.

One disadvantage to driving an old car is that it will not include modern safety technology. Depending on the age of the Celica, it may not even have had airbags – dual SRS airbags were installed on that model since 1994, but side airbags did not become an option until 2000.

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below from CNET looks at whether older cars are more dangerous.

Newer Cars are Safer Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) looked at data from the national Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and found that a higher proportion of traffic fatalities occurred among occupants of older model-year vehicles in contrast to newer ones. The study also revealed that injuries to occupants in older vehicles increased in severity in proportion with the age of the vehicle.

Redding Personal Injury Lawyer

Thank you for reading. My name is Ed Smith, and I’m a Redding personal injury lawyer. Automobile accidents and the injuries they cause can disrupt your life. If you have been harmed by another motorist’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Our firm has more than 38 years of experience advocating for injured Northern Californians. We also handle wrongful death matters for grieving families. For compassionate, free, and friendly advice following a car wreck, call to speak with one of our injury lawyers at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. If you prefer, you may also send your inquiry electronically.


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