A child suffered facial injuries after being struck by a large metal object on the 57 Freeway. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred the afternoon of November 19, 2016 on the southbound 57 Freeway south of Katella Avenue in Anaheim. California Highway Patrol officials say Kathleen Hawks was driving a Hyundai sedan with her son riding in the front passenger seat when a second vehicle struck the metal object, which was in the roadway, and “launched” it toward her car.
The metal object smashed through the Hawks’ windshield and struck the boy in his face, causing injuries that were later treated at an area trauma center. No information was available about the second vehicle. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact CHP’s Santa Ana bureau at 714-567-6000. The investigation is ongoing.
Roadway Debris Accidents
According to a report released recently by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, roadway debris caused more than 200,000 crashes with 500 deaths over four years across the U.S. About 39,000 people were injured in these types of crashes from 2011 through 2014, the study stated. More than one-third of the deaths resulted from a driver swerving to avoid hitting debris. In other cases, cars struck the debris, sometimes setting off a chain reaction of collisions.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the large metal object that caused this accident and the boy’s injuries was dropped on the freeway by another vehicle. California law requires all drivers to properly secure their loads. California Vehicle Code section 23112 (a) states: “No person shall throw or deposit, nor shall the registered owner or the driver, if such owner is not then present in the vehicle, aid or abet in the throwing or depositing upon any highway any bottle, can, garbage, glass, nail, offal, paper, wire, any substance likely to injure or damage traffic using the highway, or any noisome, nauseous, or offensive matter of any kind.”
In such cases, the driver who dropped the debris can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will help them seek and obtain maximum compensation for their losses.