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Passenger killed in Orange County Car Accident


Justin Messerschmidt, 22, of Huntington Beach, was fatally injured in a Los Alamitos car accident when the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado in which he was a passenger veered out of control and crashed into a tree. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the car crash occurred on the southbound 605 Freeway near Katella Avenue, the evening of May 6, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say the 22-year-old driver from Long Beach was traveling at 50 mph in the number four lane when he made an unsafe turn and lost control. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Messerschmidt was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash while the truck’s driver suffered major injuries.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who knew and loved Justin Messerschmidt and are mourning his tragic loss. My heart goes out to the victim’s grieving family as well as the severely injured driver.

Orange County Car Accident Statistics

According to CHP’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), nine people were killed and 310 were injured in car accidents in the unincorporated areas of Orange County. During that same year, there were 141 fatalities and 13,373 injuries reported due to Orange County car accidents.

What Caused This Fatal Collision?

Based on this news article, the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado was travelling approximately 50 miles per hour when he made an unsafe turn and lost control. It is unclear what caused the driver to make the unsafe turn. Did he attempt a lane change? Was he driving distracted? Did someone cut him off? Was speed a contributing factor in the accident? I trust investigators are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what happened here and why.

Liability Issues

If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, he can be held civilly liable for the passenger’s wrongful death. If an auto defect caused this accident, then, the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective product can be held liable as well. In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future wages, and loss of love and companionship. Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.

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