Three people died in a Garden Grove car accident when a speeding truck hit a car and smashed through a wall, plunging into a home’s swimming pool. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred early morning on March 12. A Garden Grove police officer reportedly saw a Dodge Ram truck speeding through a parking lot on Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard, a part of the city known to be a high crime area.
The officer, concerned about traffic safety, followed the truck as it left the lot and continued speeding along Chapman. The patrol officer activated the lights and the siren and tried to stop the driver who kept heading west, officials said. A couple of minutes later, the truck crashed into a car at the intersection of Euclid Street and Orangewood Avenue. Firefighters found the car rolled over, resting on the block wall while the truck had plunged into the swimming pool.
Before landing in the pool, the truck had sheared off a hydrant, sending a geyser of water into the air. One person in the truck was pronounced dead. The car’s driver, later identified as 39-year-old Michael Clugston, was taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries. When crews hoisted the truck out of the pool, they found another passenger who was also dead. Police identified the men in the truck who had died as Sal Fernandez, 34 and Joseph Mendoza, 28. It was not clear who was driving. It is also not known if drugs or alcohol were factors in this crash.
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the truck was speeding before it collided with the other vehicle and crashed. It is illegal under California law to violate posted limits or to drive at a speed that is unsafe. It is also unclear as to what circumstances led to the crash and why the driver was speeding. It is also unclear as to who was driving at the time. We trust officials are attempted to answer these and other questions in order to determine precisely what occurred here.
In such cases, injured victims and families of deceased victims would be well advised to retain the services of an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and make sure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.