Airborne Pickup Truck causes fatal multi-car crash in California

A car crash involving multiple vehicles can have devastating consequences, and can be a complicated scene for law enforcement to reconstruct. Authorities are investigating an eight-vehicle car crash in California that killed one person and injured several others. A man driving a pickup at high speed left his lane, crossed into oncoming traffic and became airborne when he lost control. Authorities say the driver had impatiently driven into oncoming traffic to pass the cars waiting at a traffic signal. The driver of the truck died in the car crash.

It appears that the driver had tried to veer back into safety to avoid a collision, but he was going too fast and lost control of the pickup. Witness reports say the truck flew high into the air before it crashed down onto cars completely across the intersection. The truck actually leapfrogged the first car before landing upside down on the other cars.

The commercial stretch of road, though six lanes wide, has a posted speed limit of only 50 mph. The pickup truck driver was clearly doing in excess of that, with some witnesses estimating he was traveling at 100 mph. Authorities hope surveillance videos will help pinpoint the speed and reconstruct the car crash, since there is no indication that the driver hit the brakes at any time. The investigation is ongoing.

Authorities have remarked that it was surprising this car crash didn't result in more fatalities, and it could have been entirely avoidable. The pending investigation may reveal that the driver did not live up to the responsibilities of a licensed motor vehicle operator under California state law. The injured victims have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the deceased driver's estate, seeking reimbursement for financial damages like medical bills. Legal guidance during this process would be helpful because of the complexity of this incident, and because the responsible party is deceased.

Source: contracostatimes.com, Airborne pickup truck spurs fatal Calif. wreck, No author, Oct. 11, 2013

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