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Update | Wrong-Way Driver in Napa Causes Five-Vehicle Accident

Fatality and Multiple Injuries Occur in Wrong-Way Driver Crash

An accident on August 19 in Napa caused by a wrong-way driver led to the death of one motorist and injuries to four others. Calls were placed to the Napa police and California Highway Patrol (CHP) at approximately 11:30 p.m. about a multiple-vehicle collision along Highway 29 near Butler Bridge. According to the accident report, a driver going south along the northbound lanes of the highway hit four vehicles.

Multiple People Transported to Hospital Following Wrong-Way Collision

Officers with the CHP were the first to arrive, and a helicopter was used to airlift one injured patient. A driver in one of the vehicles, Alejandra Zavala, 25, of Vallejo, died at the accident scene. Four other people were transported to Kaiser Permanente Vacaville and Providence Queen of the Valley medical centers. The drivers of two other vehicles were apparently unharmed in the crash.

Investigation Underway by Authorities

The northbound lanes remained closed for over 15 hours, and traffic was rerouted while the scene was cleared, the injured were transported and an investigation was held. Those who have information about the collision can call (707) 257-9223, extension 5235 to speak to Officer Davis, or use the following email at adavis@cityofnapa.org.  

Wrong-Way Driver Accidents

Driver error is the most common cause of wrong-way accidents. By driving the wrong way on a highway at higher speeds, when a head-on collision occurs, the results are often disastrous. Head-on collisions often result in significant injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and brain trauma. The reason for this is that both cars’ speeds combine when the vehicles crash into each other. That can cause life-long disabilities or even death to those inside those vehicles.

Why Wrong-Way Driving Accidents Happen

A driver going the wrong way is usually caused by entering an exit ramp in the wrong direction. Occasionally, drivers get lost on one-way streets or confuse themselves in construction zones:

  • Drunk drivers: The primary reason for a head-on collision involving a wrong-way driver is drunk or drugged driving or the use of certain medications.
  • Distracted driving: All types of collisions are caused by distracted driving. A driver’s attention may be diverted elsewhere, so they may enter the wrong ramp.
  • Drowsy driving: In terms of its effect on a motorist, drowsy driving is comparable to being inebriated.
  • Poor roadway maintenance: Poor markings in ramp areas, bad lighting, or missing or obscured signs can result in a driver going the wrong way. An agency can be held liable when negligence on the part of the government caused an accident injury or fatality. The statute of limitations for filing a claim against a government entity is six months, so getting help from an accident attorney may be helpful to meet deadlines.

Napa Personal Injury Lawyer

I am Ed Smith. I’m a Napa personal injury lawyer. Injuries caused by a wrong-way driver are often severe due to the combined speeds of the vehicles. When negligence by another caused your injuries or resulted in the death of your loved one, call us for free and friendly advice at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. We can be reached online also. We will provide a virtual or in-person consultation for you. In that meeting, we can explain your options regarding your case.  

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Photo attribution: Image by Vladyslav Topyekha from Pixabay 

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