Daniel Iglesias, 19, was killed in a car accident in Santa Ana after the vehicle in which he was a passenger was involved in a two-car collision. According to The Orange County Register, the incident occurred the afternoon of July 15, 2012. Officials say Iglesias was the sole passenger in a Pontiac Trans Am that collided with a full-sized SUV on McFadden Avenue after the driver of the Pontiac swerved to avoid hitting a white minivan. The minivan did not remain at the scene after the crash. The SUV smashed through the right passenger side of the Pontiac fatally injuring Iglesias. The Pontiac’s driver was transported to an area hospital.
Possible Non-Contact Hit-and-Run
An elderly female passenger in the SUV was also taken to a local hospital with complaints of pain. Three others in the SUV were uninjured. Witnesses told officials that the white minivan was traveling north on Pacific Avenue, which dead-ends at McFadden with a stop sign. When the minivan entered McFadden, the Pontiac swerved to avoid it. The Pontiac then crossed into opposing lanes of traffic and was hit by the eastbound SUV. Police are searching for the driver of the white minivan. Anyone with information is asked to contact Santa Ana police at 714-245-8665.
My heart goes out to the family members and friends of Daniel Iglesias for their tragic and devastating loss. My thoughts and prayers are also with the injured victims of this crash. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), in 2009 there were 11 fatalities and 1,359 injuries involving car accidents in Santa Ana. During the same year, 141 people died and 13,373 were injured as a result of Orange County traffic collisions.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the collision occurred when the Pontiac tried to avoid the minivan and then crashed into the SUV. It is not clear as to whether the minivan failed to stop at the stop sign or failed to yield the right of way to traffic on McFadden. Officials are still trying to determine whether this was a hit-and-run or whether the driver of the minivan did not realize what occurred. Under California law, motorists are required to stop and remain at the scene of a crash.
California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
In such cases the at-fault motorist can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. In incidents where the hit-and-run driver is not found, injured victims or families of deceased victims can seek compensation through the uninsured motorist clause of his or her own auto insurance policy. An experienced Santa Ana personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise victims or their families about their legal rights and options.