San Diego News 10 reported that 18-year-old Junethea Centeno, a student at Palomar College, was fatally injured on April 12, 2011. The auto accident happened around 3 a.m. when Junethea was driving northbound on I-15 near Felicita Road, lost control of her Honda Civic, and struck the corner of an unmarked and unprotected concrete barrier. Her father June Centeno, a Navy corpsman, was quoted as saying, “If she only hit the side of the road where the barrier is, the car could have slid down, versus hitting the end of a barrier. If things were set up the way they should be, they could have softened the impact. She’d be alive today.” Junethea’s boyfriend, Jon Mata, who came to the accident scene shortly after the crash, said that there were no cones, drums, reflectors, or other safety measures taken by construction crews, which might have saved her life.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Centeno family and friends.
Applicable California Law
The Centeno family will have potential wrongful death claims against Caltrans, any contractors, and or subcontractors responsible for the condition of the highway that caused Junethea’s death (see my prior Blog post on California Wrongful Death Law). In order to present any claims, a notice of claim must be filed with the appropriate government agency (see my prior Blog post on the Government Claims Statute). However, it is not clear why Junethea lost control of her vehicle in the first instance. If her conduct contributed to her death, then any claims would be reduced proportionately.
A young life tragically lost due to the failure to take appropriate safety measures. Auto accidents on the highway usually result in serious injuries or wrongful death. Knowing the deadlines that need to be addressed, claims that need to be made, and who is entitled to compensation, are some of the benefits of consulting with a personal injury attorney.