According to Santa Barbara new outlet The Noozhawk, a local man suffered serious burns when his Jeep Cherokee caught on fire. Bystanders who witnessed the fire rushed to help the man. One witness reported that “he saw the guy was screaming, yelling for help, crying. His whole body was on fire.” Bystanders helped him get out of the car and get his shirt off and called emergency personnel.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the car was completely engulfed in flames and the fire had spread to a building next to where the car was parked. A team went to work extinguishing the fire, while other firefighters assisted in aiding the burned man. Police reported that the burn victim had moderate to severe burn injuries on his upper torso, arms, hands and face. He was taken to the hospital, and then transferred to a burn center in Southern California for treatment of these injuries. Investigators are now looking into what caused the fire in the first place—as of now, it appears the blaze started in the back of the vehicle.

The Severity of Burn Injuries

Drunk driving is a continual problem on California roads. In order to combat this deadly danger, a new state bill has been proposed which would lower the legal blood-alcohol level for drivers in California to .05%. ABC 7 News reports that California law makers are considering the bill, AB 1713, to reduce the amount of alcohol you can legally have in your system when you drive by .03%, as California’s current limit is .08%.

This idea to lower the legal blood alcohol level to .05% came after the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report recommending lowering the drunken-driving threshold from .08% to .05%. This recommendation was made in hopes that it will reduce the number of alcohol-impaired deaths that occur each year in America. “Driving under the influence is blamed for some 10,000 deaths a year…Each day, 29 people in the U.S. die in alcohol-related crashes. Forty-percent of those killed are not the drunken driver.”

Many supporters of this bill believe it is necessary because “current blood alcohol content (BAC) is too high and leaves more drivers impaired, which results in more deadly crashes.” Studies show that for a driver with a blood alcohol level of .05%-.079% “the risk of being in a fatal crash is at least seven times higher than for drivers with no alcohol in their system.”

A family of three recently suffered personal injuries while on a ride at a Southern California amusement park. The family was on the log ride, a ride involving water, at Castle Park in Riverside when the accident occurred. According to USA Today, the ride malfunctioned and the family—mother, father, and child—were ejected from the ride.

The initial investigation shows that a pump that controls the water level on the ride was not functioning at the time the family was riding. On the final descent of the ride, the log-shaped car they were riding in failed to slow down because there was not enough water at the bottom. As a result the car “hit the bottom of a water slide, flipped over and ejected the three from the vessel.”

The mother was critically injured, and her husband and child suffered minor injuries in the accident. The family was taken to a local hospital to be treated for their injuries. Castle Park said the log ride will remain closed while the park and state officials conducted an investigation into what caused the malfunction.

Working with heavy machinery can certainly be dangerous job. This is especially true when dealing with forklifts. Recently, an accident involving a forklift at a loading dock in the City of Industry resulted in the serious injury of a worker.

According to The Patch, a dock worker was driving a forklift, when it fell off the loading dock. The worker, and 29-year-old male, was trapped with his arm pinned under the heavy forklift and the Technical Rescue team of the Los Angeles Fire Department was called for the rescue. Firefighters were “able to free the victim by using another forklift, [but] the victim suffered a partial arm amputation during the incident.”

The worker was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby trauma center. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was alerted to investigate the situation, which is typical in this type of workplace accident.

Recently Southern California has been hit by a series of back to back earthquakes and several aftershocks. According to the Los Angeles Times, the first quake with a magnitude of 6.4, occurred on July 4th—the second quake occurred the next day, and this time it was a 7.1 magnitude quake.

The epicenter of both quakes was located near Ridgecrest, CA, a Mojave Desert town around 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The shaking from the quakes was “felt as far away as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Baja California and Reno.” Since the quakes occurred there have been hundreds of aftershocks.

Thankfully, no one was killed in these earthquakes, though many people in Ridgecrest suffered minor injuries. There was, however, significant structural damages to homes, stores, and infrastructure—”The earthquake sparked several gas leaks and four fires, destroying several mobile homes.” Many homes were weakened in the initial quakes and officials are concerned that aftershocks could cause further damage or collapse.

Earlier this year a driver of a Toyota Tacoma drove onto a sidewalk in Fullerton, injuring nine pedestrians. One of the pedestrians, Sara Polanco, was seriously injured—she was hospitalized with a shattered pelvis and lacerated liver.

Polanco has now filed a Southern California personal injury lawsuit to be compensated for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills she has incurred as a result of her injuries. In this suit Polanco has looked beyond just the driver that hit her to two Lyft drivers who were parked on the street the night of the accident. According to Mercury News, Polanco is “alleging that two of [Lyft’s] ride-share drivers were illegally parked and may have helped cause the traffic incident.”

The lawsuit claims that one of the Lyft drivers suddenly stopped while looking for directions for his passengers, causing the Tacoma driver to strike the Lyft and lose control. Then, a “second Lyft driver…abruptly and unsafely stopped to pick up passengers, then suddenly struck the back of [the Tacoma] causing it to further lose control and end up on the sidewalk where the nine pedestrians were struck.” Polanco believes that the Tacoma driver would have never lost control and hit her had the Lyft drivers not been stopped illegally. She argues the Lyft drivers were “disregarding the safety rules of the road in the operation of their Lyft vehicles” and therefore, Lyft should be liable for her injuries.

Two young men in their twenties were seriously injured in a Santa Ana car accident. According to ABC 7 News, the young men were riding in a white Acura when it hit a semi-truck head on. The collision occurred in the middle of the day, near West McFadden Avenue and South Harbor Boulevard.

Video of the accident was discovered from a nearby surveillance camera—the video shows the Acura fly head-on into a semi-truck traveling the opposite direction and then land on its roof. After the incident, “than a dozen good Samaritans then rushed over and worked together to flip the car over.” After the crowd worked together to flip the Acura off its roof and back onto its tires, “firefighters had to use heavy machinery to free the men, who are still hospitalized.” The semi-truck driver was uninjured.

The big question under investigation in this case is: what caused the Acura to lose control and fly into the semi-truck? The video only shows the Acura hitting the semi-truck head-on, and so police are investigating what lead up to this crash. As of now, police believe that another truck “struck the Acura as the driver tried to make a left turn into a store.” Officers believe that when this truck clipped the Acura, it caused the car to flip and lose control, sending it into the path of the oncoming semi-truck.

The 4th of July is generally a day filled with food, family and friends, and fireworks as people across the nation celebrate America. These celebrations often include alcohol and far too often people make the dangerous choice to drive while intoxicated. As a result, a significant increase in drunk driving arrests and car accidents occur.

This was the case in California over the most recent 4th of July holiday weekend. According to KTLA News, “nearly 600 suspected drunken drivers have been arrested statewide and a dozen people killed in crashes… [during] the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.” CHP began a maximum enforcement period on July 3rd that continued through Sunday July 7th.

Police reported that a total of 589 DUI arrests were made between 6 p.m. July 3rd and 6 a.m. July 5th. This is up from last year, when 389 drivers were arrested for drunk driving in a 30-hour period which worked out to be an arrest almost every 5 minutes.

A San Bernardino bus crash recently occurred when an OmniTrans bus collided with a car near Sierra Way and Base Line street around 5:30 p.m. According to The Press Enterprise, it appears that “the bus was driving east on Base Line Street when a car that was driving west on the same road veered into the path of the bus.”

The resulting crash left a person in the car with life-threatening injuries—fire fighters had to work to extricate this person who was then rushed to the Loma Linda University Medical Center. Six passengers on the bus also suffered injuries and were taken by ambulance to the hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Even though it seems as if the driver of the car may have been responsible for this San Bernardino bus accident, authorities are still investigating to determine the exact cause of the accident. In a case like this one, it will be very important for the injured parties to get in touch with an experienced San Bernardino personal injury attorney in order to get compensation for their injuries.

Recently a tragic South Los Angeles big rig accident lead to the deaths of two young girls near Exposition Park. According to ABC 7 News, the girls were walking to school on April 4, 2019 when they were struck by the large truck.

The girls, who were sisters, were immediately rushed to the hospital for their injuries in the accident. 14-year-old Marlene Lorenzo died later that day. 12-year-old Amy Lorenzo survived the crash for several weeks in a medically induced coma, however, she recently passed away from her injuries. We send our condolences to the Lorenzo family for their losses.

In response to this tragic accident community members are calling on the city to make safety improvements in the area to help prevent this type of accident from happening again. With a school in the area, parents and students want changes like “speed bumps and improved lighting… [and] they want signage,” specifically signs explaining that the area is a school zone. These signs can help drivers be more aware that students will be crossing the street and encourage drivers to be alert and cautious when driving in the area. In the present case, investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the accident, but are looking into whether or not the driver was distracted at the time he hit the two girls.

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