Lillian Biundo, 61, was fatally injured in a Riverside car accident, after the SUV in which she was a passenger collided with a van at a Menifee intersection the morning of December 16, 2009, according to news reports and the Riverside County Coroner’s Office. A preliminary investigation by the Menifee Traffic Reconstruction Team determined that a Honda Odyssey van was traveling east on Mapes Road and failed to yield to northbound traffic on Menifee Road.
The Honda went through the intersection and broadsided a northbound Ford Excursion SUV. Biundo, a female passenger in the Excursion was ejected from the vehicle and killed. Six others were injured in the crash. Firefighters had to cut some of the occupants out of the crumpled SUV. The occupants of the Excursion seem to have suffered the worst injuries. A child who was a rear passenger in the SUV sustained serious injuries while the driver suffered abrasions. The driver of the Odyssey was uninjured.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Lillian Biundo for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest sympathies to everyone who knew and loved this woman. I also hope and pray that those who were injured in this car accident make a speedy and complete recovery. The child who sustained serious injuries will especially be in my thoughts and prayers.
What Caused the Fatal Injuries?
Based on the accounts, Biundo was not buckled up at the time of crash. However, it appears that the driver of the Honda Odyssey, who drove right through the intersection and broadsided the Excursion, is responsible for the accident. The question here is why did this driver fail to yield the right-of-way and go through the intersection. Was the driver impaired? Was he or she distracted in some way? Whatever the reason, if the Honda’s driver is found at fault for this fatal car accident, he or she could be held liable for the injuries caused.
I would also look into whether auto product defects in the Ford Excursion caused or contributed to Biundo’s fatal injuries and the other vehicle occupants’ serious injuries. Although preliminary investigations show Biundo was not wearing a seatbelt, if I were a member of her family, I’d want to know whether she was ejected because of seatbelt defects in the Excursion. It is important to determine also, in such SUV accidents, if any other auto product defect (roof crush, seat back failure) led to the serious injuries.
Seat Restraint System Failure
A seatbelt system can unfortunately fail in many ways. A number of side release belts are prone to false latching and many end release belts are prone to unlatching during car accidents. Our auto product defect firm has also seen numerous cases of restraint system failure involving seatbelt mounts, buckles, webbing and grabbers.
In many cases where a driver or passenger is ejected, traffic investigators tend to assume that he or she was not buckled up. But an expert looking for signs of seatbelt use will be able to correct or confirm such assumptions. Biundo’s family would be well-advised to consult a reputed California personal injury lawyer, who has successfully handled seat belt defect and other auto product liability cases. A skilled auto product defect lawyer will also have the body of the ejected person carefully examined for evidence of seatbelt bruising and marking, and have the webbing tested microscopically for marks, blood stains or other indicators that would prove that the seat belt was in use at the time of the crash.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.