Investigators say a tow truck driver ran a red light at a South Los Angeles intersection and caused a violent, multi-vehicle wreck, which left eight people injured including two LAPD officers one of whom had to be rescued from his patrol car using the Jaws of Life. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the rescued officer and the tow truck driver were transported to local hospitals in critical condition. A second police officer was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
LAPD officials said the collision occurred at the intersection of Main Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard the night of June 3rd. The officers were responding to a call when the tow truck ran a red light and slammed into three cars including the patrol car.
Other than the two officers and the tow truck driver, five others suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Based on preliminary investigations, officials say the tow truck driver appeared to have a run a red light causing the accident. But officials say the tow truck driver may also have been responding to another emergency. The investigation is still ongoing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this crash. We wish them all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Causes and Compensation Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the tow truck driver ran the red light and caused the crash. California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.” There are some exceptions for emergency vehicles, but these vehicles would still be required to have flashing lights and/or sirens on to indicate to others on the roadway that it is responding to an emergency.
In this particular case, if the tow truck driver determined to have been at fault, both the driver and the tow truck company can be held liable for the victims’ injuries. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.