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Teenager Critically Injured in Visalia Big Rig Accident


Josh Sablan, a 19-year-old Visalia resident, suffered major injuries in an October 27, 2008 pickup versus big rig accident northwest of Tulare, the Visalia Times-Delta reports. Sablan was westbound on Avenue 248 near Road 68 when he tried to pass another vehicle. Sablan then struck the International big rig head-on. The truck was traveling east on Avenue 248, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The driver of the big rig, 39-year-old Stanley Gumm Jr., told CHP officials that he tried to swerve out of the way of Sablan’s 2006 GMC Sierra pickup truck, but couldn’t do so in time to avoid the 10/27/08 crash. Both drivers were apparently observing the 55 mph speed limit on that highway. Sablan was taken to a Fresno area hospital with critical injuries.

This is a tragic auto accident and I pray for young Josh Sablan and his family. I sincerely hope that his recovery is quick and complete.

Based on this news report, it appears that the accident was Josh Sablan’s fault. While that is possible, we know from handling a variety of auto accidents that there are many factors that contribute to a serious auto accident. Apart from the driver’s fault or error, traffic collisions could be caused by a mechanical malfunction in one of the vehicles, a dangerous condition or obstruction on the roadway or the actions of another motorist.

Josh Sablan’s family would be well-advised to consider retaining the services of a skilled California truck accident attorney, who is well-versed in dealing with big rig accidents. If the investigation finds the driver of the big rig to have contributed to this collision, then he and his employer could be held liable for the accident and resulting injuries. If the accident was caused by a dangerous condition on the roadway, then the public entity responsible for maintaining the roadway could be held responsible. A knowledgeable California auto accident lawyer will also examine the pickup truck for evidence of any mechanical malfunctions or product defects.

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