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Car Accident in Modesto Area Kills Four


Four people, identified as James Donald Anderson, 49, Emma Gabriela Anderson, 44, and Andrew David Anderson, 15, and James Edward Rowell, 40, were killed in a Modesto car accident the evening of August 24, 2010. According to a news report in The Modesto Bee, the fatal crash occurred when a Chevrolet van ran a stop sign at the intersection of East Las Palmas and Elm avenues in Patterson and crashed into a green Ford SUV. The van was northbound on Elm and the SUV was traveling east on Las Palmas. Another passenger in the SUV, 24-year-old James Anderson, sustained major injuries in the crash. Officials are looking into whether alcohol or drugs were involved in this crash.

I offer my sincere condolences to the Anderson family, which has apparently lost three members and has one other hospitalized in serious condition. My deepest sympathies go out to everybody who knew and loved these victims. I also wish the injured James Anderson the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), two fatalities and 15 injuries were reported in Patterson due to car accidents. In Stanislaus County, 45 people were killed and 2,583 were injured as a result of car accidents during the same year.

The Law Relating to Stop Signs and Intersections

California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.” Also, California Vehicle Code 21800 states: “The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.”

Liability Issues

Based on this report, it appears that Rowell ran a stop sign at the intersection and caused the crash. Officials have also not ruled out the involvement of alcohol or drugs in the fatal injury collision. If Rowell is determined to have been at fault in this case, the family of the deceased victims and the injured victim could seek compensation from Rowell’s estate or his insurance.

Injured victims in such cases could seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. If negligence or wrongdoing is involved in an incident, family members can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. An experienced Modesto personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise victims and their families about their legal rights and options.

In your opinion, what are some of the most common causes for street intersection accidents?

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.

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  • Linda L Rowell

    First off, there was four people killed in this ACCIDENT and Rowell has a first name, James.

  • Deb72

    This tragedy is heartbreaking for BOTH families. It is devastating to lose such young family members for BOTH families. James E. Rowell was a kind, loving, sweet person. James E. Rowell would not hurt anyone on purpose,never, ever. Rememger James E. Rowell was a loving son, brother, uncle,and friend. He was my best friend for three wonderful years and he will always be remembered by me as a playful, fun, silly, loving man.

  • itchy’s friend

    he was drunk and killed my friend his wife and son and there other son will never walk again. !!!!!!

  • vee

    I would like to see a copy of the police report stating that james rowell was not under the influence. I see on other websites your family has posted that rowell was not under the influence therefore posting evidence to that fact would be the next step so far an internet search has not revealed the cause of the accident which is what family members of rowell have suggested the public do

  • vee

    Rowell, 40, who also died in the crash, had a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent, according to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

    So, this is what I found on web,

  • vee

    Here is another site I found,

    “Rowell failed to stop at the posted stop sign at the intersection and his blood alcohol level was measured at .09 percent.”

    At this point, I think it safe to say that family and friends of James Rowell are self-deceived and/or deliberately lying their asses off!

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