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Couple Killed in Fiery Mission Valley Big Rig Accident


A Claremont couple was reportedly killed in a big rig accident when their car plowed into a jackknifed big rig on the Interstate 8 in Mission Valley. According to a news article on Fox News’ Web site, the tractor trailer veered out of control and rammed into a median wall and came to a stop across four of the five freeway lanes in the wee hours of the morning. Barely a minute after the big rig jackknifed, the 2004 Kia Amanti driven by 64-year-old Frank Bilyeu plowed into the stalled commercial vehicle and burst into flames, the article said.

Both the driver and his wife, Shirley Bilyeu, were pronounced dead at the scene. They had to be identified using dental records, Fox reported. The driver of the big rig, Abukar Suri Ali, of Greensboro, N.C. and a 27-year-old passenger riding with him in the truck’s cab were uninjured. Ali reportedly told investigators that he lost control of the semi when he swerved to avoid an animal on the freeway. California Highway Patrol officials are asking anyone who saw the accident to call them at 619-220-5492.

The cause of this big rig accident is still up in the air in our opinion. The driver may have swerved to avoid something on the freeway as he told officials. But if I were a member of the victims’ family, I would demand a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident. Officials still seem to be investigating the case based on the fact that they’re asking if anyone saw what exactly happened.

But often law enforcement agencies do not have the time, resources or the personnel to investigate these fatal crashes. The victims’ family would be well-advised to retain a personal injury law firm that specializes in big rig accidents. Such a firm will be able to get into the details and would likely be able to, with the help of accident reconstruction experts and hopefully eyewitnesses, pinpoint the cause of the accident as well as who is to blame for it.

As far as we’ve seen big rig accidents could be caused by a range of factors from mechanical malfunctioning of the rig to a distracted, negligent or exhausted driver. I would be very curious to find out what really happened in this case as I’m sure the Bilyeu family is. We offer them our prayers and condolences.

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