Articles Posted in Government Claims

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4e45f5b5cf967_preview-300North County Times Teri Figueroa and Morgan Cook reported that San Marcos Sheriff’s deputy Dustin Lopez was injured in a three-car collision on August 12, 2011 at around 10 a.m.. The auto accident happened as Lopez, traveling southbound on Rancho Santa Fe in an unmarked police vehicle, hit a Honda van and a Mercedes, which were heading northbound and turning left onto westbound La Costa. According to witnesses Lopez ran the red light; however, the incident is still under investigation by the Carlsbad police. Lopez was transported to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. The driver of the Mercedes, Christine Stanley, 60, of Carlsbad was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas. Both drivers were treated for multiple injuries including head injuries. Lopez was on his way to a detail in Encinitas when the accident occurred.

Applicable California Law

If the witnesses account are correct, Lopez violated California Vehicle Code 21453, which requires a driver approaching a red light to stop and yield to opposing traffic. However, if Stanley or the driver of the Honda saw Lopez approaching and knew he was not going to stop they could be partially at fault for violating Vehicle Code 21801 failure to yield to an oncoming vehicle which is close enough to constitute a hazard. Lopez can pursue a workers compensation claim and possibly a personal injury claim(see my prior Blog post San Diego EMT Fatally Injured In Multi Vehicle Auto Accident for California work injuries and liability claims). Stanley and the driver of the van or any other injured person can pursue claims for property damage to their vehicles as well as personal injury claims after they comply with the claims reporting requirements (see my prior blog post San Diego Fire Crewman Killed in Car Accident Near Gorman Government claims reporting requirements).

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Report_road_Defect_Logo6San 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

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lafd_patchThe Associated Press reported that several members of a Los Angeles fire crew comprised of inmates and one Los Angeles County firefighter, were injured and two were killed in a head on auto accident on Tuesday November 23, 2010. The fatal crash occurred on Highway 138, south of Gorman, when a Subaru Forester being driven by 83-year-old Milton Bacon of Gardnerville, Nevada veered into oncoming traffic and hit the fire crew’s truck. A dozen firefighters were hospitalized, four were seriously injured and in critical condition. Mr. Macon as well as one crew member, San Diego resident Fernando Sanchez, who was ejected from his vehicle, were fatally injured.

Our condolences go out to the families and friends of the deceased.

Applicable California Law