Nine children were injured, five seriously, in a Dana Point van accident after a passenger van carrying children from a childcare center, crashed into a tree the afternoon of Oct. 3. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred near Dana Point Harbor Drive and Cove Road. Five of the patients, ages 9 to 12, were transported to an area trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries. Four other children received treatment for relatively minor injuries.
One witness said a girl had a bloodied head injury. Another little boy also appeared to have suffered a head injury, the witness said. Officials questioned the woman who was driving the vehicle and have ruled out the possible involvement of alcohol or drugs. Reports from witnesses indicate that there might have been some sort of problem with the vehicle’s brakes.
The Register reports that the vehicle is registered under the name of Tammy Dye who helps run a childcare program called Tammyland. According to its calendar, the children had a lunch and paddle boarding session at Baby Beach in Dana Point scheduled for that afternoon. No arrests or citations were reported. The incident is still under investigation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with these injured children. We are relieved to note that they are all expected to survive. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Based on this news report, it appears that the van was carrying children from a childcare center for an afternoon of paddle boarding at the beach. Witnesses also say that the driver lost control of the van possibly because of malfunctioning brakes. There are still a number of questions here. What was wrong with the brakes? Was the van routinely used by the childcare center to transport children? Was the van properly maintained? Did the vehicle’s owner or operator know about the defective or worn-out brakes? Why were they not repaired or replaced?
In such cases, the liability typically falls on the individual or entity that was entrusted with the children’s care. However, if the malfunction occurred due to a defective vehicle part, the automaker or manufacturer of the defective vehicle parts can also be held accountable. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims regarding their legal rights and options.