In California, the law requires that all drivers have liability insurance. However, unfortunately, this does not always prevent some drivers from driving without insurance coverage. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 15.2% of all California drivers do not have car insurance. This number becomes problematic if these drivers are involved in a car accident, especially if someone is harmed in the accident.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is optional coverage you can add to your personal car insurance plan. This type of coverage is not required in the state of California, but it can be very helpful. Uninsured motorist coverage simply means that if you are injured in an accident caused by a driver without insurance, your own insurance will help cover the damages incurred by you and your passengers, up to your policy limits.

A multi-vehicle accident in the Whittier area left five people injured, including two police officers. According to the Whittier Daily News, the accident occurred on the eastbound side of the 60 freeway around 2:50 a.m.

Police officers were pulled off on the side of the freeway assisting a driver of a stalled Mazda. All three were standing outside the vehicles when a Chevrolet Malibu ran into the patrol car. This hit caused a chain reaction—it pushed “the black-and-white into the Mazda before the Malibu struck the officers and the stranded driver. The Malibu, which ended up back on the freeway itself, was hit by a Honda Accord.”

In this incident, the driver of the Malibu was arrested after he was suspected of causing the collision because he was driving under the influence. Those injured in the accident included both police officers, the driver of the Mazda, the driver of the Malibu (who caused the accident), and a passenger in his car. All were taken to the hospital with minor to major injuries.

Los Angeles Police are searching for a vehicle that was involved in causing a deadly bicycle accident in Koreatown. ABC New 7 reported that the collision occurred in the early morning around 3:30 a.m. According to witnesses the man was struck by a motorist who immediately fled the scene.

Because the bicyclist was thrown into the street, he was subsequently hit by two other vehicles. Officers have not yet identified the man, though he was said to be in his thirties, and he died at the scene due to the severity of his injuries.

In a hit-and-run bicycle case like this one, that occurred in the early morning with few witnesses, officers are beginning their investigation by searching the area to see if the incident was caught on camera so they can try to find the car that caused the accident. They have asked anyone with information on this accident to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at (213) 473-0222.

A recent Ventura County hit-and-run that occurred in the Thousand Oaks High School parking lot left a school activities assistant, Lisa Solis, in critical condition. The incident occurred during a Friday night basketball game at the school. According to KTLA 5 News, Solis confronted a 16-year-old male student after she caught him stealing from the concession stand at the game.

After Solis confronted the student, he got into his car with four other passengers. Solis stood in front of the car and told the student not to leave because of the suspected stealing. Police reported that the student instead “proceeded to drive his vehicle, ‘deliberately’ striking Solis, running her over, and [fled] the scene.”

Solis was immediately taken to the hospital in critical condition from her serious personal injuries suffered in this intentional Thousand Oaks hit-and-run. Police were able to locate the vehicle and driver near his home, and he was detained on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

On the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday, a small plane crashed into a Yorba Linda home sending debris throughout the neighborhood. The pilot was killed in the crash, as well as four people in the Yorba Linda home. The victims—Roy Anderson, 85, and his wife, Dahlia Leber Anderson, 68, as well as their two visiting relatives, Stacie Leber, 48, of Corona and Donald Elliott, 58, of Norco—were killed when the plane crashed into the home, immediately setting the home on fire.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Cessna plane flown by 75-year-old Antonio Pastini of Nevada took off from Fullerton airport around 1:35 p.m. It had only flown about 10 miles and gained about 7,800 feet of elevation when witnesses saw the plane falling out of the sky. The plane broke apart as it fell, losing its tail, wings, and engine. Debris from the plane hit approximately 16 homes. According to the report, “a piece of the plane’s engine knocked down a pillar on the front porch and torpedoed through a first-floor window, flying through two rooms before landing in a bathroom. Fragments of exhaust pipe crashed through a second-floor window and melted into the carpet. A propeller thumped onto the driveway.”

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board started investigating the crash the next day. Because the plane broke apart midair, they do not suspect it was intentional. However, they will be trying to determine what caused this tragic accident.

A man is currently in life-threatening condition after police found him on the street in a Riverside neighborhood. KTLA News reported that police and paramedics discovered the injured 22-year-old young man when someone made a “medical aid” call in the evening, around 6:20 pm.

When paramedics arrived, the man was unconscious and clearly suffering from massive head trauma to the back of his head. Police reported, “his condition deteriorated quickly, and they began advanced life-saving measures…the man was transported to a local hospital and staff determined he had sustained major trauma to his head.”

The young man remains in very serious condition. Anyone with information into what may have caused his injuries is urged to contact the Riverside Police immediately. Police are trying to find the person responsible for this young man’s serious injuries.

In the early hours of the morning, in a busy area of Fullerton, a driver of a Toyota Tacoma drove up onto the sidewalk hitting 10 pedestrians. The location of the incident was downtown near several restaurants and bars, so hundreds of people were out on the streets. When the accident occurred, several of the victims were trapped underneath the truck.

ABC 7 News reported that when police arrived at the scene, nearby good Samaritans were attempting to help the victims. With the help of these people, officers were able to lift the truck up enough to free the injured pedestrians trapped underneath. Emergency response personnel immediately began life-saving measures on the victims. Ultimately, 10 victims were rushed to local trauma centers with moderate to critical personal injuries.

Perhaps the most devastating aspect of this incident is that it could have been totally avoided. According to police reports, the Tacoma driver, 22-year-old Christopher Solis of Anaheim, was driving under the influence of drugs when the crash occurred. It appeared he had an argument with some other individuals and got in his to drive away. In doing so, he hit another vehicle, then panicked and tried to run—in this attempt to flee, he drove up on the sidewalk causing this serious pedestrian accident. Mr. Solis was placed under arrest for felony DUI causing great bodily injury.

The family of Walter Winfield is bringing a wrongful death claim against an Island Empire hotel after Walter died from contracting a deadly illness while staying at the hotel. Last year, Walter visited the Island Empire hotel (then owned by Best Western) while on a family vacation. During his stay at the hotel, he spent time in the swimming pool and hot tub. Just weeks after the trip, Walter died from Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia.

The bacteria that caused the Legionnaires’ disease in Walter is called Legionella. According to ABC 7 News, the exact strain of Legionella found in Walter’s body was found in the hotel’s pool. The fact that makes this situation particularly tragic is that the hotel had been “repeatedly notified and warned of numerous California Health and Safety Code violations [of their pool] and that the water quality was ‘critical’ prior to Winfield’s stay.”

It appears that over the past several years, the hotel has had over 25 violations, including improper chlorine and pH levels in the pools. As it turns out, two days before Walter’s death,

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, an Oceanside family suffered a terrible tragedy when their Mazda was struck by a Toyota Tacoma. Around 1:00 p.m., the family members were driving together on the S. Coast Highway. The driver of the Toyota Tacoma ran a red light, smashing into the Mazda. The horrific car accident resulted in the wrongful deaths of Rufina Rodriguez, 74, Petra Arango, 40, and 56-year-old Eloina Arango—a mother and her two daughters.

The other family members in the Mazda included the family father and son-in-law who were sitting in the front seat and sustained serious injuries in the accident. The last passenger, a 13-year-old granddaughter, was ejected from the vehicle and seriously injured. These surviving passengers were rushed to the hospital for their injuries.

Perhaps the most tragic part of this story, is that this accident could have totally been avoided. The driver of the Tacoma, identified as 19-year-old Mason Fish, was driving under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the accident. Additionally, ABC 10 News reported that “according to DMV records, Fish’s driver’s license was listed as suspended or revoked on Jan. 26, 2019. Records also showed Fish had been involved in three prior crashes on Dec. 23, 2017; Jan. 25, 2018; and Sept. 5, 2018.”

In the last month, several videos have surfaced on the internet showing Telsa drivers sleeping while their car continues driving in its semi-autonomous Autopilot mode. According to a Fox News report, just this week a video was posted showing a driver near Las Vegas with his head rested back and eyes closed—his Tesla speeds up and slows down apparently on its own.

A video from a few days earlier shows a driver on a Southern California highway, also with his eyes closed. The person who filmed this Tesla and driver said he “observed the car riding along by itself for miles.” Although no one was harmed in these incidents, misuse of Autopilot systems continues to be a safety concern.

After an incident in December, Telsa actually responded—a driver was cited for drunk driving when police officers spotted his car driving while he was passed out in the driver’s seat. The officers followed his car, pulled in front of it, and slowed down to trigger the Autopilot to slow down and stop to avoid a collision. Although this worked, police officers wondered why the Autopilot did not deactivate on its own when sensors in the steering wheel detected the driver removed his hands from the wheel. Typically, the system is supposed to flash and sound a warning when a driver removes their hands. Tesla responded to the situation and said they were going to be “looking into what happened.”

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