Accident investigations can make or break an auto accident case. And every day, we see examples of incidents where initial incident reports are proved to be wrong and other facts emerge and surface as an investigation into an auto accident progresses.
Take for example this horrific fatal accident that left four people dead near the Pala Casino. California Highway Patrol officials now say the 24-year-old man, Anthony Boles, who they first said was the driver and had drugs in his possession, didn’t do it. Last week, they arrested 23-year-old Deanna Fridley charging her with four counts of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. Fridley is still recovering from her injuries and is hospitalized.
But the thing is, it took CHP officials a little over a month to figure out the facts of this case and said they issued the name of the wrong person as driver of the GMC Yukon that slammed into a Toyota Camry 3 miles away from the casino. The Yukon reportedly hit a guard rail and then veered off into the opposing lane colliding with the Camry head-on, killing all four people inside that car. Jesus De Santiago, 45, and Lina De Santiago, 46, of Escondido, and Rubi Baez, 46, and Luis Baez, 51, of Vista – all died in the crash. Both Fridley and Boles deny driving the SUV, but investigators now have a video tape from the casino’s parking lot showing Fridley getting behind the wheel and driving off.
This story clearly illustrates how initial reports by authorities can be wrong. Meticulous accident reconstruction is very important in any auto accident case. Had this not been an accident involving multiple fatalities, the CHP may have never spent as much time figuring out what really happened and who was actually responsible for the crash. A lot of times, these agencies do not have the resources to delve into the detail of what happened as they did with this particular incident.
Another story relating to a bicycle accident in the Salinas Californian also shows that while sometimes officials can misidentify people, they can also get important details wrong. Two boys riding in a bicycle in San Jose were severely injured when a Ford Expedition struck them. Officials initially thought the driver of the Expedition had the sun in his eyes, but later figured out that was not possible because the accident occurred at 3 p.m. So now they have to figure out why the driver struck the boys and determine whether they need to file charges.
This is why many people who have suffered severe injuries in auto accidents or have family members involved in such case, will be well-advised to hire a reputed personal injury law firm with the resources and fire power to thoroughly conduct complicated investigations and accident reconstructions that these law enforcement agencies may fail to conduct or may not have the resources to conduct.