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Fatal San Diego Car Accident


Caroline McElhaney, 52, was killed in a San Diego car accident after her vehicle was rear-ended by another driver changing lanes on the 15 Freeway in Escondido. According to a 10news report, a southbound 1999 Dodge Ram changed lanes near Ninth Street, the morning of August 9, 2010, and could not avoid rear-ending McElhaney’s Mercedes-Benz, which was stopped for traffic ahead.

The impact from the collision forced the 2001 Mercedes into the back of a Toyota Avalon, which in turn collided with a Toyota Sienna. McElhaney was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. The drivers of the Avalon and the Sienna, as well as a passenger in the Sienna, all suffered minor injuries. Jackson Redmond, a 28-year-old Colton resident, who was driving the Dodge Ram, was not injured in the crash.

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Caroline McElhaney for their profound loss. She apparently died 15 days before her birthday. Tragic! Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.

Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 10 fatalities and 732 injuries reported as a result of car accidents in Escondido. In San Diego County as a whole, 246 people died and 13,527 were injured due to car accidents during the same year.

Laws and Liability Issues

This accident continues to be under investigation, but it appears as if Redmond made a dangerous lane change right before colliding with McElhaney’s Mercedes. California Vehicle Code section 21658 (a) states that whenever a roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction the vehicle “shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”

When a driver makes an unsafe lane change and causes an accident, he or she may be held accountable for the crash and any resulting injuries and fatalities. When there is a chain reaction crash involving multiple vehicles, the investigation can be complex. Injured parties would be well-advised to not speak with the insurance companies and attorneys for other parties. It would be in victims’ and their families’ best interests to first consult an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free and comprehensive consultation to injured victims and their families.

What precautions do you take while making a lane change?

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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