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30
JUN
2011

California Fire Loss Lawyers | PG&E Outage Causes House Fire

California Fire Loss Lawyers - Yolo County House Fire
Fire officials say a PG&E outage caused a surge to a clothes dryer that started a house fire in Linda, California. (Photo: Appeal-Democrat)

A house fire that destroyed a Yolo County family’s home and all of their belongings on Tuesday is being blamed on a broken insulator pin on a PG&E power line.

•    A broken insulator pin caused a high-voltage power line to snap and fall on another line. Fire officials believe the resulting electrical surge traveled down the line and caused a fire in a 220-volt outlet at a family’s home.

•    The house was destroyed in the fire. The family lost their home, all of their belongings, and two of their pets.

•    PG&E has not yet admitted responsibility. The company asked the Red Cross to help the family.

California Fire Loss Attorneys - City of LindaThe Pacific Gas and Electric power outage started at about 6 p.m., according to a report in the Appeal-Democrat, a newspaper that serves Marysville, Yuba City, and surrounding communities.

Shortly thereafter, the fire started at the Moler family’s home in the 1700 block of Hammonton-Smartsville Road in the city of Linda, which is about 5 miles from Yuba City — about 40 miles north of Sacramento.

Linda fire chief Richard Webb said the fire was related to the problem with PG&E’s equipment.

PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said an insulator pin that holds a primary high-voltage power line broke. That caused the wire to fall onto the distribution line that delivers power to residences and businesses. The wires touched, caused a transformer to fail, and suddenly stopped power to the community.

The fire at the Molers’ home started in or near the 220-voltage outlet for the dryer, Webb said. He believes it was caused by a power surge that traveled down the line from the PG&E accident.

“Because of the extent of the damage, sometimes it’s hard to make a 100 percent determination,” Webb told the Appeal-Democrat. “We looked at the evidence that’s there … And we think we can draw a pretty reasonable conclusion.”

Webb said fire investigators also found holes burned in the metal siding where electricity comes into a trailer in front of the house, which indicates there was significant electrical arcing there as well.

The Moler family —  Jeremiah Moler, wife Christy Berry, 6-month-old daughter Allyssa and 8-year-old daughter Cierra — lost their home, their belongings, and two of their pets. Their two dogs were safe, but two cats are still missing.

No burn injuries were reported, but the trauma of losing everything is significant.

The Red Cross paid for a few nights in a hotel and money for basic immediate necessities, but that won’t go very far. Moreno said PG&E representatives met with the family to explain the process of filing a claim. The company did not admit responsibility for the fire, but Moreno indicated PG&E would cover damages if there was negligence involved.

“We reached out to the Red Cross to offer a contribution (to the family),” Moreno said.

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented fire loss victims for 35 years.  The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1866-692-8126.

29
JUN
2011

Santa Cruz Injury Lawyers | Another Fatal Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident

Soquel Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Another cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run accident Monday in the Santa Cruz area. It was the second bicycle accident fatality in the coast community this month and the third this year.

•   A 31-year-old Soquel resident was either riding or walking his bicycle along the side of the rode when he was struck by a car that fled the scene.

•   The cyclist died at the scene.

•   A car matching the description of the hit-and-run driver returned to the scene 40 minutes later and cooperated with police.

Santa Cruz Fatal Bicycle Accidents June 2011
Sites of fatal bicycle accidents in June.

The deadly accident occurred shortly after 10 p.m., according to a KION News report.

California Highway Patrol officers believe 31-year-old Noel Hamilton of Soquel may have been walking his bike at the side of the road at the time, in which case they would consider the deadly collision a pedestrian accident.

What is known is that Hamilton was either riding or walking his black beach cruiser north on Soquel-San Jose Road just south of Oneill Lane in the small town of Soquel, which is about 5 miles east of downtown Santa Cruz.

Hamilton was struck by a motorist who fled the scene. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No reflectors, lights or helmet were found at the crash scene. There is a bike lane in the area, but the CHP has not yet released the exact locations of the bicyclist and car.

About 40 minutes after the fatal accident, a 33-year-old motorist driving a white, Infiniti QX4 returned to the scene. The vehicle had damage consistent with the crash, CHP officer Sarah Jackson told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Santa Cruz Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Warning sign on U.C. Santa Cruz campus. (Photo: Wire)

The driver cooperated with authorities and took an alcohol test, KION reported. She is the chief suspect in the case, but was not arrested.

“We’re still in the process of verifying (the driver’s) statement,” Jackson told the Sentinel. “We have to remain open to all kinds of possibilities. The collision is still under investigation and any further information from witnesses is going to be very helpful.”

Hamilton’s death was the second bicycle accident fatality in the Santa Cruz area this month — and the third in 2011.

“Monday’s death was a grim benchmark,” stated a Santa Cruz Wire article. “The number of deadly bike accidents this year now equals the number in all of 2009, and it’s only June. And 2009 was the worst year for local bicycle deaths in at least a decade.”

The Wire is an independent local news site.

The first fatal bicycle accident in 2011 occurred on February 10, when 21-year-old U.C. Santa Cruz student Adrian Burgueño crashed on the Great Meadow bike path. He died from injuries sustained in the accident the following day.

The second death occurred on June 8, when 25-year-old Zachary Parke was struck and killed in a hit-and-run collision on Empire Grade near the campus. [ Read more: Santa Cruz Bicycle Accident Lawyers | Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash at UCSC ]

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have been representing bicycle accident victims and their families for more than 35 years.  The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1866-692-8126.

28
JUN
2011

Santa Cruz Injury Lawyers | Drowsy Driver Causes Major Car Accident

Aptos Car Accident Lawyers
Two severely injured people were airlifted to hospitals after a sleepy driver crashed on the freeway. (Photos: Santa Cruz Sentinel)

A drowsy driver caused a major injury car accident Tuesday morning when she crashed into the center divide of Highway 1 in Aptos, a little less than 10 miles from Santa Cruz.

•   A drowsy driver lost control of her BMW and slammed into the center guardrail on Highway 1.

•   The BMW slid across the freeway and collided with an SUV, which went over an embankment and crashed into a tree.

•   The driver and passenger in the SUV suffered major injuries and were airlifted to two different hospitals.

Aptos Car Accident LawyersThe highway crash occurred at about 11:25 a.m., according to a report in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

California Highway Patrol officer Grant Boles said 23-year-old Juliet Olmos of Santa Cruz was driving a BMW 323i northbound on Highway 1 when the accident happened.

Olmos started to doze off as she approached State Park Drive and she lost control of her vehicle.

The BMW crashed into the center guardrail, Boles said.

The car then rebounded off the median and slid across the highway, where it collided with a northbound 2003 Ford Explorer driven by 66-year-old Gary Alfred Carlton of Salinas.

The Explorer went out of control, rolled down an embankment and struck a tree, Boles said. Carlton and his 65-year-old wife, Christine Carol Carlton, were trapped in the vehicle, CHP officer Sarah Jackson said.

Aptos Car Accident LawyersFirefighters climbed down the embankment, freed the victims from the SUV, and carried them back up the hill. Both of them sustained major injuries.

Officials summoned two medical helicopters and stopped all traffic so the choppers could land on the highway.

The victims were airlifted in separate helicopters to different hospitals. The man was flown to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose,  while the woman was flown to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.

Olmos was not arrested.

The accident is still under investigation.

Drowsy Driver Statistics

Every year 37,000 people are injured — and almost 1,000 are killed — in accidents caused by drowsy drivers, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Admnistration (NHTSA).

Drowsy driving is a major safety hazard, especially because it is so common:

•   62% of surveyed American adults (72% of men and 54% of women) reported driving while feeling drowsy.

•   37% of surveyed American adults (49% of men and 26% of women) said they have dozed off while driving at least once.

•   27% of surveyed American adults (36% of men and 20% of women) said they have dozed off while driving in the past year.

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented car accident victims and their families for more than 35 years.  The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1866-692-8126.

27
JUN
2011

Dixon Car Accident Lawyers | Teen Driver Killed After Running Stop Sign

Dixon Car Accident Lawyers
Fatal car accident: A teen driver ran a stop sign and was hit by an SUV in rural Dixon. (Photo: Vacaville Reporter)

Fatal car accident: A teen driver died Sunday after he ran a stop sign and drove into the path of an oncoming SUV in rural Dixon, about 20 miles west of Sacramento.

•   A teen in a northbound car ran a stop sign and drove into the path of an eastbound SUV.

•   The SUV was traveling 55 to 60 mph and crashed directly into the driver’s side of the teen’s car.

•   The teen driver was killed. His passenger and the SUV driver were seriously injured.

Dixon Car Accident LawyersThe accident occurred at about 6 p.m., according to an article in the Vacaville Reporter.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Wulf Corrington said a 19-year-old boy from out of town was driving a silver Hyundai sedan northbound on Batavia road, just south of Dixon, and ran through a two-way stop sign at Midway Road.

The Hyundai drove directly into the path of a westbound Ford Edge SUV driven by 24-year-old Renee Montez of Rocklin. The Ford was traveling at 55 to 60 mph, Corrington said.

The Ford “T-boned” the Hyundai, crashing directly onto the driver side of the vehicle.

Dixon Car Accident AttorneysThe impact forced both vehicles off of the roadway and onto the shoulder, where the Hyundai “flipped up and over” a hedge and landed upside-down on its roof, according to the Reporter article.

The teen driver and his lone passenger were trapped in the car. Firefighters cut the car and were able to pull both of the occupants out of the mangled car.

The driver died at the scene. His passenger sustained major injuries and was airlifted to U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

Montez was taken by ambulance to Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis. The exact nature and extent of her injuries was unknown.

Corrington said the intersection where the fatal accident took place was known to be dangerous and that many accidents had occurred there.

“Most locals know enough to take it slowly,” Corrington said.

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented car accident victims and their families for more than 35 years.  The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1866-692-8126.

24
JUN
2011

San Luis Obispo Car Accident Lawyers | Extreme DUI Crash Kills 2

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San Luis Obispo Car Accident Lawyers

Extreme DUI Crash: A drunk driver whose car crashed and killed two passengers in San Luis Obispo

had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. (Photo: KSBY News)

A 21-year-old college student faces four felony counts after an extreme DUI crash last Friday in San Luis Obispo that resulted in the wrongful death of two people.

•  A 21-year-old drunk driver was driving at freeway speeds on a curvy road and lost control of his car. The car rolled several times and landed upside down on a golf course.

•  Two of the three passengers were killed. The drunk driver and another passenger suffered major injuries.

•  The driver — whose blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit — has a history of alcohol-related arrests. He was driving without a license.

San Luis Obispo Drunk Driving Accident LawyersThe fatal car accident occurred shortly after 2 a.m., according to a KSBY News report.

The California Highway Patrol said 21-year-old Evan Green of Chico and three friends had been drinking at Woodstock’s Pizza and then at two bars — Mo Tav and The Library — in San Luis Obispo before they got into Green’s 2004 Saturn Vue to head back to an Avila Beach vacation home owned by Green’s family.

Green was driving the Saturn westbound on Avila Beach Drive at a very high rate of speed and was unable to negotiate a curve just past Cave Landing Road, the CHP said. He overcorrected and lost control of the car, which flipped over and rolled several times as it tumbled onto the Avila Beach Golf Resort. When police arrived, the car was on its roof with three passengers pinned inside. Officers asked Avila if he was injured.

“Yeah I’m hurt but they are still in there,” Avila reportedly said. “I was the designated driver and I’m not intoxicated so don’t worry about me. Just help them.”

Avila was, in fact, highly intoxicated. His blood alcohol level was 0.245, according to the CHP — three times the 0.08 legal limit. Green also was driving without a license. His expired in 2009.

Green and one of his passengers, 21-year-old Jacob Zimmer of Castro Valley, survived the crash but sustained major injuries. Zimmer told police Green was driving “really fast,” according to a report in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

“It wasn’t like a hundred, but it was definitely freeway speeds or a little more,” Zimmer said, according to the CHP report.

The other two passengers — 21-year-old Aaron Beaver of Eureka and 21-year-old Marcus Nelson of Castro Valley — died at the scene.

Green was arrested and booked into the county jail without bail on suspicion of second degree murder. He has a history of alcohol-related arrests since he was 17 years old.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office later amended the charges to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing injury, and driving without a license. The DA’s office told KSBY News they based the change on what prosecutors believe they can prove beyond reasonable doubt. They said they might amend the complaint if additional facts or circumstances come to light.

Green pleaded not guilty to all charges on Wednesday. He is scheduled to appear in court again on July 11.

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have been representing the families of wrongful death victims for 35 years.  The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1866-692-8126.