Four Fontana teens – identified as Rebecca Garcia, 16, Javier T. Contreras, Pedro Rivera, and Raquel Garcia, all 18 – were killed in a San Bernardino car accident in the early hours of October 23, 2011. According to a news report in The San Bernardino County Sun, the fatal car accident occurred at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Lime Avenue in Fontana. Contreras was driving a Chrysler Sebring east on Foothill when he lost control. The vehicle veered into the westbound lanes and struck a concrete bridge. The car then caught fire. Contreras and Rebecca Garcia died at the scene, while Rivera and Raquel Garcia died at area hospitals. All four were badly burned. Officials say it could take weeks or even months before the investigation is completed.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Rebecca Garcia, Javier Contreras, Pedro Rivera, and Raquel Garcia for their tragic, sudden and devastating loss. Please keep these grieving families in your thoughts and prayers.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were nine fatalities and 498 injuries involving Fontana car accidents. In San Bernardino County as a whole, car accidents claimed 223 lives and caused 7,870 injuries, during the same year.
What Caused This Fatal Crash?
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to how or why this tragic car accident occurred. Officials suspect that the driver may have been speeding at the time. There are however several questions here. Was there an auto defect or mechanical malfunction in the Chrysler Sebring, which may have caused the vehicle to go out of control? Was there a dangerous condition on the roadway? Were other vehicles involved? For example, did the teens’ vehicle get cut off or run off the roadway by another vehicle? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Protecting Victims’ Rights
In such cases, it would be a good idea to preserve the vehicle in its current condition, unaltered, so an expert can thoroughly examine it for product defects, malfunctions and other evidence. Families of deceased car accident victims would be well advised to contact an experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.