Five people were killed the morning of August 4, 2009 in a fiery Orange County car accident after their SUV reportedly blew a tire and rolled over a steep embankment on the southbound 5 Freeway in Mission Viejo, California. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, officials could not determine the age, identity or gender of the car accident victims because their bodies were burned beyond recognition. The single-vehicle car crash involved a Chevrolet Tracker, a small SUV, which veered off the freeway, hit a signpost before rolling over and catching fire.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of all these victims who were killed in this horrific Mission Viejo car accident. We don’t know yet whether these victims were all adults or whether there were children involved or if they were all members of the same family. I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of these deceased victims. Please keep them in your prayers.
Orange County Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were seven fatalities and 250 injuries involving car accidents in Mission Viejo. In Orange County, 178 deaths and 14,185 injuries were reported as a result of car accidents.
Based on this newspaper report, it appears that this fatal car accident may have been caused by a vehicle defect — specifically a defective tire. Faulty tires are among the most common causes for drivers to lose control of their vehicles on the freeway. When a tire suddenly blows out or loses its tire tread, the vehicle may go out of control, especially while traveling at freeway speed. In this case, it caused the SUV to roll over and catch fire.
Contacting an Orange County Car Accident Lawyer
The family members of these victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer, who will help analyze the facts of this case completely and thoroughly and determine who or what caused this accident. If a defective tire caused it, the tire manufacturer or the auto manufacturer could be held liable. If it was caused by a vehicle defect or design defect, the car maker could be held responsible as well. A skilled injury lawyer will also look into other factors such as the involvement of another vehicle or whether the driver of the Chevy suffered a medical condition right before the accident.
The family should certainly preserve the Chevy Tracker is its current, crashed condition, unaltered, so it may be examined by an expert for evidence of product defects, design defects, mechanical malfunction or other evidence. The best Orange County personal injury lawyers will always offer a free and comprehensive consultation to car accident victims and their families. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, loss of earnings, loss of love and companionship and other related damages.