Vu Huy Phan, a 32-year-old Oakland man, was killed in a December 12, 2008 big rig accident after a large truck struck his car on Interstate 880 in Hayward. According to a news report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Phan was driving South on the Interstate 880 when he hit the back of a big rig near Industrial Parkway. Phan apparently pulled over on the far right lane of the freeway when another big rig struck his vehicle. Phan suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
My heart goes out to the family of Vu Huy Phan for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s truck accident statistics, there were 361 fatal accidents involving large trucks in California in 2007 and 10,635 injury accident involving big rigs during that same time. California tops the list of states with the highest number of fatal and major injury big rig accidents. Big rig accidents can be catastrophic simply because of the size and weight of the vehicle. Very often we see that the occupant of the passenger vehicle is seriously injured or killed in a big rig accident while the driver of the big rig usually escapes uninjured.
In this Hayward truck accident, the second big rig struck Phan’s disabled vehicle moments after Phan was involved in another big rig rear-end collision. There are several questions that still need to be answered. Was the big rig driver who fatally struck Phan able to see Phan’s disabled vehicle at the time of the crash? Was the big rig driver traveling too fast to be able to stop in time? If the accident was the fault of the big rig driver, then the driver as well as his employer, the trucking company, could be held liable for Phan’s fatal injuries. It would also be important to find out whether the truck driver was driving under the influence or if he was distracted in some way at the time of the accident.
Vu Huy Phan’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced California truck accident attorney who will help determine the facts of the case, identify the negligent parties and hold them responsible. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased auto accident victims will be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Such a claim compensates the victim’s family members for the death of a loved one that may have been caused by someone else’s negligence.