Grammy Award-winning art director, 43-year-old Ian Cuttler Sala, was killed when a Ford GT driven by the brother of actress Salma Hayek was involved in a crash with a pickup truck on Sunset Boulevard the evening of February 23, 2104. According to a news report on NBC Southern California, police say Hayek lost control of the vehicle while traveling east on Sunset Boulevard and crossed into the westbound lanes crashing head-on with a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
Sala, who was a passenger in the two-seat Ford GT, died from multiple traumatic injuries. Hayek, a Los Angeles-based custom chair designer, suffered injuries including broken ribs and cuts to his head. Police say Hayek was driving on the wrong side of the road and possibly violated speed laws. The district attorney will decide whether to file charges. The 20-year-old driver of the pickup truck suffered a broken foot. The supercharged Ford GT involved in this crash carried a price tag of $140,000 and was produced in 2006.
We offer our condolences to the family members and friends of Sala for their tragic loss. We also wish the injured victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 200 fatalities and 24,320 injuries were reported as a result of car accidents in the city of Los Angeles. Countywide, 513 people died and 50,476 were injured due to car accidents during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that speed may have been a factor in this fatal crash. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
If Hayek is determined to have been at fault, in addition to facing criminal charges, he may also be held civilly liable for the wrongful death of his passenger and injuries caused to the person in the pickup truck. In such cases, an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the victims’ legal rights and best interests are protected.