Ana Martinez, 36, was killed in a Mission Viejo car crash, which officials say involved a wrong-way driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred along Santa Margarita Parkway near Los Alisos Boulevard the night of May 7, 2013. Police say the woman was headed north in a Toyota Sienna minivan while a 43-year-old man was going south on the northbound lanes in a Ford truck. The two vehicles collided head-on. Martinez died from her injuries and the man was also transported to an area hospital with unknown injuries. It is not clear why the man was going the wrong way. The investigation is still ongoing.
OC Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 267 were injured as a result of traffic accidents in Mission Viejo. During the same year, 100 fatalities and 13,368 injuries were reported as the result of car accidents countywide.
What Caused This Head-On Collision?
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Ford truck was on the wrong side of the road at the time. California Vehicle Code section 21651 (a): “Whenever a highway has been divided into two or more roadways by means of intermittent barriers or by means of a dividing section of not less than two feet in width, either unpaved or delineated by curbs, double-parallel lines, or other markings on the roadway, it is unlawful…to drive any vehicle over, upon, or across the dividing section.”
In this case, there are still a number of unanswered questions. What caused the driver of the Ford truck to go the wrong way on the roadway? Was he intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time? Did he suffer a medical condition? Was he driving an excessive rate of speed? Did reckless or distracted driving play a part? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file what is known as a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Victims’ families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable.