• 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 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.
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.