Valentina Dola-Sandro, 16, was killed in a Wilmington car accident after the vehicle in which she was a passenger went out of control and crashed. According to a KTLA news report, the fatal crash occurred the morning of December 7, 2013. Police say she was a passenger in a red 2005 Ford Mustang, which was traveling at a high rate of speed and ran a red light at the intersection of Anaheim Street and Avalon Boulevard.
Valentina had been sitting in the backseat and was ejected from the Mustang when it collided with another vehicle. She died at the scene. The other vehicle flipped during the collision. Four others were injured and transported to area hospitals, but they are all expected to survive. The investigation is still ongoing.
LA Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 219 fatalities and 24,561 injuries reported as a result of car accidents in Los Angeles. Countywide, 530 people were killed and 50,153 were injured due to car accidents during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Mustang in which the teen was a passenger was not only speeding, but also ran a red light at the street intersection, causing the fatal collision.
California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” Also, California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) requires drivers to stop for red lights.
Fault and Liability
In such cases, the at-fault driver, in addition to facing charges, can also be held civilly liable for the injuries and losses caused not only to other motorists, his or her passengers. Injured passengers can file personal injury claims seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.