Stockton Fatal Auto Accident Investigation Turns Murky

July 25, 2008

California Highway Patrol officials in Stockton are taking back their preliminary determination in an auto accident investigation where two men died in a broadside crash. Initially, based on some eyewitness reports, officials said that 21-year-old Alvaro Gutierrez was speeding, ran a red light and broadsided 28-year-old Jose Reyes who was driving a 1992 Acura.

But now, according to a news report in the Stockton Record, CHP officials are saying that they have been getting contradictory eyewitness reports about the accident and don’t know exactly who caused the accident, which occurred at the intersection of North Wilson Way, Newton and McAllen roads.

CHP Officer Adrian Quintero said officials now don’t know which direction or at what speed each vehicle was traveling or who even had the right of way. They won’t know until they take a closer look at the physical evidence, including a pending toxicology test that will tell them whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the auto accident.

This case is a great example of how the preliminary determination of “facts” in an auto accident case may not be accurate. As the investigation progresses, the facts may evolve or different details could come to light changing the entire complexion of the case. With this incident, Gutierrez’s family took issue with the preliminary investigation, which not only determined that Gutierrez was speeding, but that he also ran a red light. But now, as it turns out, that may not be true.

This is why auto accident victims and their families would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced auto accident personal injury law firm, which has the resources to thoroughly investigate a case. A skilled and resourceful law firm will have its own accident reconstruction experts and investigators to go into the details and come up with the facts. Law enforcement agencies often do not have the time or the resources to conduct a thorough investigation of auto accident cases.

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