Janel Smith, 44, was killed in a Riverside car accident after the vehicle in which she was a passenger made a sudden left turn and crashed into an oncoming car. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal car accident occurred the morning of February 11, 2011 on Grand Avenue in the unincorporated Lakeland Village area, near Lake Elsinore. Smith was riding in the back seat of a 1990 Thunderbird whose driver, 56-year-old Edward Temple, pulled into the two-way center lane on Grand and turned directly in front of an oncoming Oldsmobile driven by 29-year-old Luke Argeanton.
Smith was partially ejected through the rear window of the Thunderbird. She was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. Four others suffered moderate injuries. An investigation is ongoing.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 121 fatalities and 2,615 injuries were reported involving car accidents in the unincorporated areas of Riverside County. Also, in Riverside County as a whole, 220 people died and 8,561 were injured as a result of car accidents during the same year.
Left Turn Law
Based on this news report, the driver of the Thunderbird may have made an unsafe left turn in front of the Oldsmobile. California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
Fault and Liability
If the Thunderbird’s driver is determined to have been at fault, then he could be held liable for Smith’s wrongful death and the injuries caused to the others. If I were a member of Smith’s family, I would also want to find out if Smith was partially ejected from the Thunderbird due to a defective seatbelt. If that was the case, then, the auto maker or manufacturer of the defective auto product can also be held liable. Injured victims or families of deceased car accident victims in such cases would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all facets of the incident and ensure that all negligent parties are held liable.
Lost a family member in a Riverside County car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after a fatal Lake Elsinore car accident. Call 800-259-6373. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Riverside wrongful death lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.