Did the California Department of Transportation’s negligence lead to the wrongful death of a 22-year-old woman? As reported in California Personal Injury Lawyers File Wrongful Death Suit Against Caltrans Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys lawyers are representing the plaintiffs in the death of Kimberly Anne Downes. The suit also includes Holly Anne Lee, Gaylene Lee, Victoriana Vasquez and Miguel Alvarez.
Records show that Downes was driving to work in her 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe within the speed limit on SR-60 in the Los Angeles County city of Diamond Bar when for unknown reasons, she swerved to the left striking the center concrete median wall and overturned on a high-occupancy vehicle lane.
Darkened Public Roadway Put Law-Abiding Motorists in Danger
The plaintiffs argue that Caltrans failed in its duty to provide a safe and public roadway. For example, the double armed center median lights were not turned on at the time of the accident, at the dark, early hours of 3:30 a.m. In addition, Caltrans did not perform regular lighting inspections in the area and did not warn motorists of the dangerous condition–something that they had advanced knowledge about.
“Before this tragic car accident occurred, Caltrans undertook traffic surveys and scene analysis studies in the immediate vicinity of the crash site,” said Orange County personal injury attorney Brian Chase.
“Line-of-sight and vision issues prompted Caltrans to erect four double-armed high-intensity light poles in the center median of SR-60, immediately east and west of the Los Angeles car accident site, and just east of the Grand Avenue overpass. The lack of lighting prior to construction resulted in a dangerous condition of darkness, which was compounded by the impaired line-of-sight overpass at Grand Avenue.”
Preventable Conditions Led to Series of Car Collisions and Downe’s Death
After overturning in the HOV lane, Holly Anne Lee, driving a 2007 Toyota Yaris struck Downe’s Hyundai. Downes was at the time standing outside of her Hyundai. Immediately after the California car accident, Victoriana Vasquez, driving a 2003 Jeep Liberty, struck Downes, fatally injuring the young woman. The plaintiffs contend that the unsafe and darkened road conditions prevented Lee and Vazquez from seeing Downes and avoiding the collisions. However, the plaintiffs also allege that Lee and Vasquez were speeding at the time of the collisions.
The wrongful death case (number KC056861) was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, East District. The action seeks economic and non-economic damages for the wrongful death of Kimberly Anne Downes and was brought on the behalf of her parents, James R. Downes and Myung-Sun Kim.