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30
DEC
2011

Lucerne: Drowsy Driver Airlifted After Head-On Crash on Hwy 20

Lucerne Car Accident Lawyers

A drowsy driver suffered major injuries in a head-on collision on Highway 20 in Lucerne.

A drowsy driver who may have fallen asleep at the wheel suffered major injuries Wednesday in a head-on collision on Highway 20 in Lucerne, about 65 miles north of Santa Rosa.

•   A drowsy driver’s car drifted into the oncoming traffic lane on a rural highway.

•  An oncoming van swerved to the other lane to avoid hitting the car, but the car swerved back into that lane at the same time.

•   Still trying to avoid a collision, both vehicles then veered into the other lane, where they crashed head-on.

•   The van driver was not injured but the car driver sustained major injuries and had to be cut out of his car and then airlifted to a hospital. 

The rural highway accident occurred at about 8:20 a.m., according to an article in the Lake County Record-Bee.

The California Highway Patrol reported that 59-year-old William J. Adams, a resident of Ukiah, was driving a silver Saturn coupe eastbound on the highway at the time.

Lucerne Accident LawyersAuthorities said Adams may have fallen asleep when his Saturn drifted into the westbound lane near Ogden Road. Police did not know for sure how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time.

Witnesses said a westbound white GMC van — driven by 35-year-old Christopher Genho Jr. of Clearlake Oaks — swerved over into the eastbound lane to try to avoid hitting the Saturn, but the Saturn suddenly veered back into the eastbound lane as well.

Both drivers then swerved back into the westbound lane to try to avoid a collision, but they crashed head-on in that lane.

Genho was not injured, but Adams was trapped inside of his car. Emergency crews had to cut the vehicle to free him. He sustained very serious injuries and was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital to be treated.

Northshore Fire Protection District Chief Jay Beristianos said both lanes of the rural highway were closed, but only for about 45 minutes.

Drowsy Driving = Deadly Mistake

More than 1,550 people are killed every year on U.S. roads due to accidents involving drowsy drivers, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics reported by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Another  71,000 are seriously injured.

Drowsiness and fatigue may play a role in crashes attributed to other causes, including driving under the influence, NSF research shows. About one million crashes each year occur due to driver inattention/lapses which may be caused by drowisness.

Lack of sleep is a common problem for busy Americans who work long hours and manage families as well. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in fatigue-related crashes as those who sleep eight hours or more. People who sleep less than five hours a night are four to five times as likely to be involved in such crashes.

Lucerne Car Accident Lawyers

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 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.

29
DEC
2011

Corning: Bull Escapes from Truck, Causes Crash on I-5

Corning Freeway Crash Lawyers

A bull got loose from a big-rig on I-5 in Corning and caused a freeway crash.

It’s not every day you see a bull strolling along in the middle of a freeway. But that’s exactly what happened Thursday on Interstate 5 in Corning.

Freeway crash: A 70-year-old woman lost control of her car when she slammed on her brakes to try to avoid crashing into other cars that were stopped for a bull who escaped from a big-rig.

•   A big-rig that was hauling bulls in a trailer was headed northbound on I-5.

•   The trailer doors came open, and a bull escaped. He got out and walked onto the freeway.

•   A driver slammed on her brakes to avoid the cars that had stopped for the bull, and her car skidded off the freeway and down an embankment.

•   No one was injured, including the bull.

The car accident occurred at around 9:15 a.m., according to a report in the Corning Observer.

A big-rig had picked up several bulls from the Masami Cattle Ranch on Gyle Road. They were traveling in a livestock trailer pulled by the truck, the California Highway Patrol Phillip Macintosh said.

Somewhere along the road, the doors came open on the trailer. Another motorist flagged down the truck driver to let him know what had happened.

Corning Accident LawyersThe truck driver pulled over to the shoulder to fasten the doors, but before he could get it done, one of the bulls took advantage of the opportunity to make a leap for freedom.

The huge bovine strolled out onto the freeway as the truck driver tried to stop the other bulls from following suit.

“The driver couldn’t go after the bull as he had to stop the other animals from escaping the trailer,” Macintosh said.

Traffic stopped on the freeway as motorists formed a sort of wall to corral the bull. CHP officers cut a hole in a fence leading to a field next to the freeway and were eventually able to get the bull to go through the makeshift portal into the field.

Meanwhile, Kwiye MacNichols of Cotati approached the scene in a 2001 Honda CRV. She apparently didn’t realize there was a bull of the freeway — who would? — or that traffic had stopped for it. As she came up to the stopped vehicles, she slammed on her brakes to avoid a collision.

The CRV skidded onto the gravel on the shoulder of the freeway, and then went down an embankment, where it crashed into a fence.

Fortunately, MacNichols was not hurt. Even her SRV suffered only minor damage. But she has a great story to tell her grandkids — if they believe her.

Corning Freeway Accident Lawyers

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented freeway accident victims for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.

28
DEC
2011

Critical Condition: Eureka Construction Worker Hit By Teen Driver

Eureka Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Construction site accident: A road construction worker remains hospitalized in critical condition after he was hit by a teen driver Tuesday in Eureka.

•   A road worker was on duty in a construction zone surrounded by cones. There were signs diverting traffic around the workers.

•   A 17-year-old driver said his windshield fogged over and he was unable to see the road. He drove over the comes and struck the construction worker from behind. 

•   The worker was hospitalized and remains in critical condition.

The accident occurred at 9:20 a.m., according to a report in the Eureka Times-Standard.

The California Highway Patrol said 68-year-old Kenneth Newell of Arcata was operating a grinder in a construction zone on Myrtle Avenue near Pennsylvania Avenue at the time of the accident. There were traffic cones around the area and signs that directed southbound traffic into the left turn lane, away from workers.

The CHP report said 17-year-old Eugene Palmer of Eureka was traveling southbound on Myrtle Avenue when his windshield fogged over and blocked his view. He drove over the cones and into the construction site. Palmer’s vehicle struck Newell from behind.

Newell suffered major injuries. He was transported to  St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, where he remained in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.

Road Construction Site Injury Statistics

Each year over 20,000 workers are injured in road construction work zones, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. These injuries typically are caused by:

  • Contact with objects or equipment (35 percent)
  • Slips, trips, or falls (20 percent)
  • Overexertion (15 percent)
  • Transportation incidents (12 percent)
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments (5 percent).

More than half of all road construction fatalities involve being hit by a vehicle.

Eureka Construction Site Accident Lawyers

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented construction site accident victims and their families for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.

27
DEC
2011

Concord: 2 Injured in Small Plane Crash at Buchanan Field

Concord Plane Crash Lawyers

Two people were injured in a small plane crash at Buchanan Field in Concord. (Photo: Contra Costa Times)

Two people were injured in a small plane crash Tuesday at Buchanan Field in Concord. The crash occurred just four days after the 26th anniversary of a crash at the city’s Sun Valley Mall that killed seven people and injured 100 shoppers.

•   A small plane had engine trouble shortly after takeoff from a municipal airport in Concord. 

•   The pilot tried to loop back and land the plane, but it crashed before it reached the runway.

•   The pilot and his only passenger were hospitalized. They were expected to recover.

The plane went down at 3:21 p.m., according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The pilot of the four-seat, single-engine Ryan Navion aircraft reported mechanical problems shortly after taking off,  Contra Costa County Fire Protection District captain Kent Kirby.

He tried to loop back and land, but the plane apparently went out of control. It crashed on a grass field adjacent to the runway, a few hundred yards south of Highway 4, according to the Contra Costa Times. The plane came to rest with its nose angled toward the runway.

The plane was completely destroyed, but there was no fuel spill or fire, Kirby said. Paramedics and emergency workers pulled the pilot and his sole passenger from the wreckage. One of them suffered moderate injuries and the other suffered major injuries, Kirby said.

The victims were rushed to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, a Level II trauma center. Nursing supervisor Chris Perez later told the Associated Press both men were in good condition but remained hospitalized. (The AP report was published in the San Jose Mercury News.)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board went to the scene to investigate. FAA records show that the plane is registered to Chester Robbins of Pleasant Hill. Robbins’ private pilot license was issued in 2008, but it was not known if he was flying the plane when it crashed. Both the plane’s registration and Robbins’ license are current, according to the records.

Airport officials closed the runway but allowed planes to take off and land on another runway.

On December 23, 1988, a small plane crashed into Concord’s Sun Valley Mall during one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season, according to the Chronicle. The pilot and his two passengers were killed, as were four people on the ground. The plane burst into flames. A hundred shoppers were seriously hurt, many with major burn injuries.

Concord Plane Crash Lawyers

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented plane crash victims and their families for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.

26
DEC
2011

Antioch Tragedy: Toddler Killed by Father’s Truck in Driveway Backover

Antioch Car Accident Lawyers

A toddler was killed in a driveway backover in Antioch. (Photo: Contra Costa Times)

Police are calling the death of an Antioch toddler a tragic accident, after the child darted behind his father’s pickup truck and was run over in front of their house on Monday.

•   A toddler darted out of the house and behind his father’s pickup truck as it was backing out in front of the house.

•   The father did not see his little son and ran over the boy.

•   The little boy died at Children’s Hospital.

The fatal backover accident occurred at 1:21 p.m., according to a report in the Contra Costa Times.

Antioch police Captain Leonard Orman said Malcolm Norris, who would have turned 2 years old in about a week, ran behind his father’s pickup truck as it was backing up at their home on Pembroke Court.

The home is on a cul-de-sac with parking spaces in the center. The pickup truck was backing up from one of the spaces when Malcolm darted out of the house and ran behind the truck.

His father did not see him, police said. The truck ran over the little boy, who suffered grave injuries and was rushed to Children’s Hospital in Oakland. He died at the hospital.

Antioch Car Accident LawyersPolice are calling the tragedy an accident.

“We are investigating, obviously, but everything points to this being a tragic accident,” Orman said.

The family is devastated and in shock, the boy’s uncle, Michael Alexander, told the Times. They had just moved into the home a few months ago.

“They’re doing the best they can. It’s all just so fresh to them. They’re still in shock about the whole situation,” Alexander said. Malcolm was his brother’s first son, Alexander said.

Antioch police Chief Allan Cantando, visited the family on Tuesday to offer his condolences.

“My heart just goes out to them as a parent of a young one myself,” Cantando said. “All parents can learn from this tragedy.”

Cantando stressed the importance of knowing where young children are at all times, especially during hectic holidays.

The tragedy is the latest in which a young child has been accidentally run over, the Times reported:

A 3-year-old Vallejo girl was airlifted Saturday to Children’s Hospital after she was hit by her mother’s car.

A 4-year-old Martinez boy has made what one of his doctors called a “miraculous recovery” after his skull was fractured by his mother’s sport-utility vehicle in June.

In January, a 1-year-old Oakland girl was struck and killed by a truck driven by the girl’s uncle that was backing into a driveway.

And in March 2010, a 4-year-old Hayward boy died after he was struck by a sports-utility vehicle in an apartment complex parking lot.

Congress has ordered the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop requirements for backup detection devices and warning sounds in new vehicles, but it remains crucial to walk around your car to make sure children are safely out of the way before backing up.

Antioch Accident Lawyers

The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented pedestrian accident victims and their families for 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.