Four people were injured, two critically, in an Orange County car accident, which officials say, was caused by the driver of a big-rig that ran a red light. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the major injury collision occurred on the 5 Freeway at the Avenida Pico off-ramp in San Clemente, the morning of February 6, 2012.
California Highway Patrol officials say a big-rig exiting the freeway ran a red light and crashed into a BMW and Volvo SUV at the intersection, pushing the two vehicles into another big-rig. Two women in the Volvo were transported to an area trauma center in critical condition. One person in the BMW was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two children, who were also passengers in the BMW, were not injured. No one has been cited or arrested pending an official investigation.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this car accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. I’m relieved to note that the two children in the BMW were not injured.
Car Accident Statistics
According to CHP’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 200 injuries involving San Clemente car accidents. In Orange County as a whole, 141 people died and 13,373 were injured due to car accidents, during the same year.
Red Light Violation
Based on this news report, it appears that the car accident occurred at the intersection of Avenida Pico and the off-ramp, an intersection that is regulated by traffic lights. Officials say the driver of the big-rig for some reason barreled through the red light and triggered the collision. Running a red light is a serious traffic violation under California law.
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.”
Fault and Liability
If the investigation concludes that the driver of the big-rig was at fault, then the truck driver and his or her employer can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Victims in such cases can seek compensation from the at-fault party for damages including medical expenses, loss of earnings, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the official investigation, protect their legal rights and hold the negligent parties accountable.