Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Although the holiday season can be a wonderful time of year, full of celebration, it can also be a dangerous time of year especially over the New Year’s holiday weekend. New Year’s Celebrations often include drinking, and far too often people make the dangerous and reckless choice to drive while intoxicated.

This was true over the New Year’s holiday weekend here in California. The Los Angeles Times reported that 36 people died in DUI related car accidents over the holiday weekend, which spanned from December 28, 2018 to January 2, 2019. Four of those killed were pedestrians. California Highway Patrol stated the death toll was higher than last year, as only 23 people were killed over the 2017/2018 holiday. In Los Angeles County, one person was killed, which was down from the six killed the previous year.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the four-day holiday period included maximum enforcement of DUI driving laws. This led to the arrests of 1,140 drivers statewide who were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. CHP officers stated that, “although that’s an increase from the previous year’s 936, this year’s holiday span was a day longer because New Year’s Day fell on a Tuesday.”

A driver of a black Lincoln and his female passenger were killed in a Hyde Park car accident December 16, 2018. According to KTLA News, around 9:00 in the morning, the car left the road just east of Crenshaw Boulevard, and smashed into an abandoned building.

The male driver was partially ejected from the car as a result of the impact. The female passenger was fully ejected from the car, and both were pronounced dead at the scene. Because of the collapse of the structure onto the car, police believe it will “require an extended extrication to recover the bodies due to safety concerns with building collapse.”

As of right now, the cause of the accident remains unknown. Police said speeding is very common on the street but are not certain that is was caused this crash. In a crash like this, that involves no other vehicles, there are many possible causes for the police to consider such as driving while intoxicated (either alcohol or drugs), driving while texting, or even drowsy driving. It is very important that a thorough investigation is conducted to determine the cause of the accident.

On February 9, 2014, 26-year-old Olivia Culbreath from Fontana, drove against oncoming traffic causing a horrific California drunk driving collision that killed six people.

According to ABC 7 News, Culbreath had been previously drinking before entering the freeway and driving her Camaro the wrong way at “speeds of up to 100 miles per hour in the early morning.” Her car slammed into a Ford explorer, and ultimately caused a three-car pileup. Four people in the explorer, all from the same family, were killed. Two passengers in Culbreath’s car were also killed, one of the victims being her sister.

Three hours after the accident her blood alcohol level was still .15%, nearly double the legal limit in California of .08%. Apparently, Culbreath had previously been arrested for a DUI and was warned by the court on that occasion about the dangers of driving under the influence. In May, she was convicted after pleading no contest to six counts of second-degree murder. This past week, the Judge sentenced her to thirty years to life for her actions that caused this terrible tragedy.

A 22-year-old young man from San Jacinto, Thomas Llamas, was recently killed in a Perris motorcycle accident. According to The Press-Enterprise, the Perris accident occurred at the intersection of Rider Street and Wilson Avenue, when a sedan made a left turn as Llamas was traveling straight through the intersection.

Llamas struck the passenger side of the vehicle. He was immediately taken to the Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley, but passed away shortly after his arrival. The driver of the sedan was not injured in the accident and was not arrested. The police are still trying to determine what caused the accident, but drugs or alcohol do not appear to have been involved.

Unfortunately, fatalities from motorcycle accidents nationwide have more than doubled over the past 15 years. Motorcycles can be an especially appealing mode of transportation in Southern California due to the beautiful weather and heavily trafficked roads, but this can mean there is even more danger for motorcyclists. A report from earlier this year showed that in 2016, “566 motorcyclists were killed in California — an 11 percent increase from 494 deaths in 2015…that doesn’t include the 14,400 motorcyclists injured.” California also ranks in the top 15 of the 50 states for motorcycle fatalities.

A recent Perris car accident resulted in the death of 54-year-old William Shelton of Lemon Grove and left another motorist with minor injuries. The Press-Enterprise reported that three vehicles were involved in the accident which occurred on the Southbound side of the freeway around 7:20 p.m.

The accident caused one of the cars involved, a dark-colored sedan, to flip over and cross into the northbound side of the 215 freeway. Though it is not clear which car was driven by Mr. Shelton, it was reported he died at the scene. The accident closed two lanes on the southbound side of the 215 freeway for several hours causing heavy traffic on the freeway, as well as the Ramona Expressway as cars tried to exit.

California Highway Patrol officers are still investigating what caused this freeway crash. There are many possible causes for freeway accidents, especially on the busy Southern California freeways. Causes can include natural things such as rain or fog which cause poor visibility that can lead to accidents, or intentional things such careless choices by a driver to drive while intoxicated, texting, or while drowsy. When a car accident involves more than one car, like in this case, it is possible that one or more drivers could be at fault.

A 77-year-old Aguana pedestrian was recently killed when he was hit by a golf cart while crossing the street. According to The Press-Enterprise, the pedestrian was crossing the street in a mobile home park when a 73-year-old resident driving a golf cart failed to stop and collided with the pedestrian.

The pedestrian was thrown onto the asphalt roadway, and hit his head causing major head trauma. Police and medical personnel responded to the scene and found the pedestrian in critical condition. He was airlifted to Inland Valley Medical Center, where he died later that day.

Police will continue to investigate the incident, to determine what exactly caused the accident. It appears that the golf cart driver may have simply not been paying attention to the road or the pedestrian. Still, this does not excuse the golf cart driver from liability for this wrongful death accident.

A supersized limousine crashed in upstate New York this week, killing the 18 people inside, as well as 2 pedestrians. The limo was headed to a brewery for a 30th birthday party for one of the passengers. According to the Los Angeles Times, the limo “ran a stop sign at a T-shaped intersection at the bottom of a hill and slammed into an unoccupied SUV.”

Investigators have yet to determine the exact cause of the accident. The crash left no visible skid marks on the road, which may mean the driver failed to brake. Investigators have uncovered several other negative details about the incident. As it turns out, the limousine had failed a safety inspection last month and the driver was not properly licensed.

Large-limo wrecks are typically uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were only “12 [limo crashes] nationwide between 2012 and 2016, compared with over 157,000 crashes involving all types of vehicles during that period.” However, crashes involving limos are often more severe. The state of California has not been immune to limo crashes. For example, in 2013 five women celebrating a bachelorette party were killed when their stretch limo caught on fire in Northern California.

A Van Nuys pedestrian accident this week caused the death of veterinary nurse, Pamela Ramos. According to ABC 7 News, 27-year-old Ramos was out walking her neighbor’s dog when she was fatally struck by a black Camaro.

The Van Nuys pedestrian accident occurred in the early morning hours, around 2:45 a.m. Ramos was crossing the street when the black Camaro, traveling north on Burnet Avenue, hit her. The driver called 911 and stayed at the scene to cooperate with officers. Officers at the scene said the neighbor’s dog was not hurt in the incident.

Ramos’ brother stated, “my sister was a very loving person, she loved animals, she would help others before helping herself, a very genuine person.” The investigation into what happened in this early morning accident is ongoing. At this point, investigators do not believe the driver was speeding or under the influence, however they will continue to work to determine the cause. We offer our condolences to the Ramos family for their loss.

A young student walking to Pacific High School was killed after being hit by a speeding car in San Bernardino, California. The student, Jade Maldonado, was only 14 years old. The San Bernardino hit-and-run accident occurred in the morning before school, just after 7 a.m., as she was walking to class.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, Jade was crossing in a marked crosswalk when she was hit by a car that immediately fled the scene. The car was described as a Tan 2000-2004 GMC SUV. The vehicle was traveling approximately 40-50 mph when Jade was hit.

Jade was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center. Doctors performed surgery in attempts to save her, but Jade passed away later that day. The school district released a statement offering their condolences and letting parents and students know that school counselors are available to speak with students struggling because of this tragic accident. Police ask anyone with information about this hit-and-run accident to contact them immediately at 909-383-4247.

A tragic San Diego electrical accident caused the wrongful death of a local landscaper who was trimming a pine tree. Moises Hernandez Sr., owner of his own tree-trimming and landscaping company, often volunteered at a local church by maintaining its grounds. According to The Coast News, Hernandez was trimming a large pine tree near the church when his metal tool came in contact with a San Diego Gas & Electric Wire, instantly electrocuting Hernandez.

Hernandez was hit with a shock of 12,000-volts that resulted in his wrongful death. Police reports stated “the church’s caretaker called 911 after hearing a ‘loud buzzing’ noise.” The first responders found Hernandez, unresponsive in the tree. SDG&E had to be called to cut power to lines touching the tree before Hernandez could be rescued.  It took SDG&E three hours to get trucks to the scene to cut power—Hernandez was ultimately pronounced dead before he was removed from the tree. Continue Reading

Contact Information