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One Killed, Five Injured in Modesto Truck Accident


Humberto Delatorre, 49, was killed, and Deborah Lanza, 48, remains in critical condition after a truck accident, which officials say, was caused by the driver of a big-rig who failed to stop for slowing traffic on Highway 99 in Modesto. According to a news report in the Modesto Bee, four others who sustained non-life-threatening injuries in this October 20, 2010 chain-reaction car accident were identified as 60-year-old Byrd Lewis, Mary Soares, 33, Alex Morales 37, and Richard Paredes, 51.

California Highway Patrol officials say there were four passenger vehicles ahead of the big-rig, driven by 43-year-old Bradley Meinz. The truck driver rear-ended a Nissan Frontier pickup that was pushed into the other vehicles before veering to the left and striking a fifth vehicle, a Chevy Silverado pickup truck. The Chevy truck then overturned. Meinz was uninjured in the big-rig accident. CHP officials have said drugs or alcohol were not involved.

I offer my deepest condolences to Delatorre’s family members and friends for their tragic loss. I also wish Lanza who was critically injured and the other injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep these victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Modesto Car Accidents

There were eight deaths and 1,163 injuries involving car accidents in Modesto in 2008, according to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Stanislaus County as a whole, 45 people died and 2,583 were injured as a result of car accidents during the same time.

Laws and Liability Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the truck driver may have been traveling at an unsafe speed and may have been following the other vehicles too closely. California Vehicle Code Section 21703 states: “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.” California Vehicle Code Section 21704 also states that the driver “shall keep the vehicle he is driving at a distance of not less than 300 feet to the rear of any other motor vehicle subject to such speed restriction which is preceding it.”

If it is determined that the truck driver was at fault here, both he and his employer could be held civilly liable for the injuries and fatality, in addition to possibly facing criminal charges. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. The family of the deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. An experienced Modesto personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families about their legal rights and options.

Lost a family member in a California car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?

Call your best friends in the legal industry after a fatal Modesto car accident. Call 866-310-5252. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.

Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys California wrongful death lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.

What are some of the precautions you take while driving close to large trucks?

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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