Early in the morning on Thursday, February 28, 2019, two separate Pacoima big rig truck freeway crashes occurred, caused by the heavy rain that soaked the freeway. According to ABC 7 News one driver was reported to have minor injuries, but no other freeway drivers were harmed.

The first collision occurred in Newhall Pass, when the big rig driver crashed into the center divider. The crash closed all truck lanes in both directions on the freeway. A second big rig jack-knifed on the connecting road from the northbound 5 to the westbound 118 Freeway in Pacoima. This closed the 5 Freeway for several hours.

As of right now, the rainy conditions are being blamed for causing both accidents, though officials will still conduct a thorough investigation. It is not uncommon for these types of large truck accidents to occur due to the rain, especially if the big rig truck driver does not appropriately adjust his or her speed for road conditions, including curves in the road and transitions between different freeways.

When pedestrians walk down the sidewalk, the hope is that they can do so safely, without any incident. However, many times construction sites can put not only workers, but also passing pedestrians at risk of injury. This was the case this week in Hollywood, where a section of scaffolding collapsed on to the sidewalk injuring three people.

According to ABC 7 News, a large section of scaffolding on the outside of a six-story building under construction collapsed around 2:15 a.m. The building was located on the 6700 block of Selma Avenue in Hollywood. The falling objects struck victims below—one victim was hit in the head. Two of those injured were treated at the scene by emergency personnel, but one victim had to be transferred to the hospital due to more serious injuries.

The construction crew working on the building arrived later and began clean-up of the collapsed scaffolding. At this point, the exact cause of the collapse is unknown, however police say it was very windy at the time of the collapse. However, if the collapse occurred due to the negligence of the construction company, they may be liable for the injuries they caused in this Hollywood personal injury accident.

CBS Los Angeles News reported that a woman was killed by a metro bus while waiting at the bus stop. The Los Angeles Bus Accident occurred in the early morning around 12:20 a.m. The woman was identified as Heather Kirkorowicz, who was 41-years-old.

Police are currently investigating what caused the accident. Initial reports suggest that Kirkorowicz may have been hit as she was trying to flag down the bus. It appears that she may have stepped off the curb and into the street as the bus approached, which resulted in her being hit. The bus driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with the police after the incident.

Bus accidents are always frightening. Because of the size, force and momentum of a bus, occupants of vehicles or pedestrians hit by a bus frequently sustain catastrophic injuries, including fatalities. A bus accident will generally always involve an in-depth investigation to determine what caused the accident. Luckily, many buses are equipped with video cameras that can be useful in determining what happened.

You cannot drive around the greater Los Angeles area without seeing Uber and Lyft vehicles everywhere. They are a very helpful service for many people who need transportation. In fact, we often assist our seriously injured clients with obtaining transportation to their medical appointments, via Uber or Lyft.

Uber and Lyft have obviously disrupted the transportation industry. Previously, people would have to call a taxi company, give them their pick up address, and the taxi company would send a taxi to pick up that person in a certain time range. Now, people just go onto the app from their smart phone, which already has their location, and they can get the price of the ride in advance and often a car within minutes.

With this great benefit in convenience, however, comes certain problems. Uber and Lyft vehicles are all over the road. Sometimes Uber and Lyft drivers are waiting by curbs or in parking spots, other times they are just driving around waiting for a ride. Once they get the ride, they have to act quickly to confirm the ride and get to the pick up spot. Once they have the passenger, they frequently want to drop the passenger off at the destination as quickly as possible so that they can pick up the next rider and make more money.

Recently, a condo caught fire in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Beverly Hills. The resident, an elderly man, 91-years-old, was unable to escape the fire. According to CBS Los Angeles News, the fire was reported around 9:52 a.m. The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to the scene and discovered the victim inside.

The elderly man was immediately rushed to the hospital in critical condition because of his fire-caused injuries. Sadly, his injuries were too severe, and he passed away at the hospital. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within 15 minutes and prevented it from spreading to other homes and causing other injuries.

The fire department is now investigating what caused this Beverly Hills house fire. One thing they immediately noticed was that the condo had a lack of working smoke alarms, which may have contributed to the victim being unaware of the fire until it was too late. The LAFD Captain commented that “the fact that there was no immediate evidence of a functional smoke alarm makes us all want to ensure that when we go home to our family and loved ones that we have smoke alarms outside the bedrooms, on all levels of the home.”

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.

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