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91-year-old Man Killed in Cathedral City Car Accident


Neil McConaghy, 91, was killed in a Riverside County car accident, which involved five vehicles. According to a news report in The Desert Sun, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection of Date Palm Drive and Ramon Road in Cathedral City, the morning of February 16, 2012. Officials say a Ford F550 truck smashed into McConaghy’s Chrysler PT Cruiser. McConaghy was transported to a Palm Springs hospital where he was pronounced dead. Witnesses said the driver of the pickup may have suffered a seizure just before the crash. He sustained critical injuries and was transported to an area hospital.

Chain Reaction Collision

The Ford F550 apparently first sideswiped a parked SunLine Transit Agency bus before striking McConaghy’s PT Cruiser, which was stopped at the intersection. The impact of the collision pushed the PT Cruiser into a Lexus SUV. All the vehicles then hit a Ford Mustang that was turning north from Ramon onto Date Palm. Witnesses said the Ford truck ran over the top of the PT Cruiser and “mowed it through the intersection.” One other person received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. Police are still investigating the cause of this accident.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Neil McConaghy for their devastating loss. Please keep this grieving family in your thoughts and prayers. I also wish the injured victims here the best for a prompt and full recovery.

Riverside County Car Accidents

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were five fatalities and 105 injuries involving car accidents in Cathedral City. In Riverside County as a whole, 203 people died and 7,974 were injured due to car accidents, during the same year.

Fault and Liability

Based on this news report, the driver of the Ford truck completely lost control of the vehicle and triggered the chain reaction crash, which claimed McConaghy’s life. Investigators are apparently examining several traffic cameras installed at that busy intersection, which has been the site of many previous car accidents. Police say alcohol or drugs were not factors. They are looking into whether the truck’s driver suffered a medical condition, or if negligence contributed to the tragic accident.

If the truck’s driver is determined to have been at fault, then, he can be held liable for McConaghy’s wrongful death. Families of deceased victims in such cases can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of companionship, and other related damages. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise victims or their families about their legal rights and options.

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