Joseph Quezada, 20, was killed in an Orange County car accident, which officials say, involved a hit-and-run driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred the evening of November 19, 2011 at the intersection of Cypress Street and Lambert Road in La Habra. Officials report the collision involved a white Toyota 4Runner, a black Nissan Xterra, a U-Haul truck, and a blue Hyundai Accent. The driver and passenger of the U-Haul, identified as 18-year-old Richard Ambriz and 19-year-old Dustin Lish, fled the scene of the collision, but were later arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. Quezada, the driver of the Hyundai, was transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. Officials are still investigating the cause of the accident.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Joseph Quezada for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 289 injuries involving La Habra car accidents. In Orange County as a whole, car accidents led to 141 fatalities died and caused 13,373 injuries, during the same year.
Possible Accident Causes
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to what caused this hit-and-run car accident. I’m certainly glad to hear that the hit-and-run driver and his passenger have been apprehended. There are several unanswered questions here. Who was at fault for this car accident? Did the driver of the U-Haul cause the accident? Were alcohol or drugs involved? Was one of the drivers distracted, inattentive, speeding, or otherwise negligent at the time of the crash? This accident occurred at a street intersection monitored by traffic lights. It is not clear if one of the vehicles ran a red light or failed to yield the right-of-way at the intersection.
Laws and Liability Issues
According to California Vehicle Code Section 21800 (a): “The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.” Also, running a red light is a serious traffic violation under California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a).
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing may be involved, the family of a deceased car accident victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of companionship. Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.