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Flying Debris Causes Fatal Santa Ana Car Accident


William Donovan, 60, of Irvine was killed in a Santa Ana car accident when a metal object crashed through his windshield and struck him. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the car crash occurred on the 55 Freeway near McFadden Avenue, the afternoon of May 11, 2012. Officials say Donovan was driving a Toyota in the number one lane when the debris went through his windshield. He sustained major head trauma and was pronounced dead at a nearby medical facility. Investigators suspect that the debris came from another vehicle. Witnesses with information about the incident are asked to call 714-567-6000.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of William Donovan following this tragic Orange County accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

Orange County Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 11 people were killed and 1,359 were injured in Santa Ana car accidents. During that same year, 141 fatalities and 13,373 injuries occurred as a result of Orange County car accidents.

What Caused This Fatal Collision?

Based on this news report, Donovan was killed after flying debris entered through his windshield. There are still several questions here. Where did the debris come from? Was it not properly secured to another vehicle? Did someone deliberately throw it at Donovan’s vehicle? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.

California law prohibits anyone from throwing or dumping debris on the highway. California Vehicle Code Section 23112 (a) states: “No person shall throw or deposit, nor shall the registered owner or the driver, if such owner is not then present in the vehicle, aid or abet in the throwing or depositing upon any highway any bottle, can, garbage, glass, nail, offal, paper, wire, any substance likely to injure or damage traffic using the highway, or any noisome, nauseous, or offensive matter of any kind.”

Liability Issues

The family of a deceased victim of a highway debris auto accident has a right to be compensated for their losses not only by the person responsible for the debris on the roadway, but also by the “uninsured/underinsured motorist” provision of their own car insurance policy. If the person responsible for the debris on the highway is never identified or found, the uninsured motorist coverage of an auto insurance policy can provide compensation for the injured victim or the family of a deceased car accident victim.

A knowledgeable Orange County personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise victims or their families about how their auto insurance policy applies to a roadway debris accident. Victims’ families would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced accident attorney who will help them secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.

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