Five members of a family, including three children, were injured in a head-on Santa Maria car accident on the Highway 166. According to a KSBY news report, the Castellanos family from Guadalupe was returning home from a Memorial Day vacation May 25, 2009 when a white Chevy Caprice driven by Tommy Watkins of Bakersfield tried to pass traffic in an area which quickly turned into a "no-passing zone" and struck the Castellanos' Chevy Suburban. Watkins' grandson, 12-year-old Deshawn Porter, who was a passenger in the Caprice, died and another boy, Deshante Porter suffered major personal injuries.
According to another article in the Santa Maria Times the driver of the Suburban, Anthony Castellanos, suffered moderate California personal injuries as did his passengers, 14-year-old Justime Castellanos, 8-year-old Sarah Castellanos, 11-year-old Nicholas Castellanos and 78-year-old Susan Jones. Lisa Castellanos, 34, suffered major injuries.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Deshawn Porter who died in this horrific Santa Maria car crash apparently caused by his own grandfather's reckless driving. I offer my deepest condolences to Deshawn's family. My heart also goes out to the Castellanos family that was returning from a vacation and met with this horrific car accident. I wish all the injured members of their family as well as Deshante Porter the very best for a quick and complete recovery. Please keep these car accident victims and their families in your prayers.
If these news reports are accurate this accident was caused by Tommy Watkins who was in a hurry to pass a slow-moving truck with a trailer. Watkins had two children riding with him and still chose to make that extremely dangerous move of passing the truck in a "no-passing zone." Watkins could be held civilly and criminally liable for the injuries caused to his own family members as well as the injuries and damages caused to the Castellanos family.
The Castellanos family would be well advised to retain the services of experienced California car accident lawyers who will investigate this case and make sure their legal rights are protected. The Castellanos family could receive compensation to cover their medical expenses, loss of earnings and other damages related to this car accident.