A 2006 Honda Civic collided with a Freightliner tanker truck on Highway 37 Friday morning killing Micheal McIntosh, 24, of Travis Air Force Base according to Vallejo, California fire officials, as reported on the Times-Herald website.
The big rig accident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. when the Honda spun into the path of the oncoming Freightliner tanker truck, just west of the Mare Island Bridge the California Highway Patrol said. The driver of the Honda, Hannah Johnson, 20, of Fairfield allegedly lost control while traveling about 60 mph, east bound on Highway 37. Johnson sustained moderate injuries.
Jonathan Dinisio, 27, of Solvang, another passenger in the Honda, was airlifted to John Muir Medical Center with major injuries. According to the Times-Herald news report, fire officials said it took 19 minutes to extract Dinisio from the Honda after the 14 minutes it took to get McIntosh out. McIntosh died on the way to the hospital from major head injuries, fire officials said.
The big rig’s driver, a 63-year-old Healdsburg man escaped with minor injuries and was not believed to be at fault.
This is truly a sad situation. One man is dead, another suffered major injuries and someone or something is to blame. If Johnson is at fault, she could be facing vehicular manslaughter charges, depending upon the circumstances. She was injured as well.
It is the CHP’s job to investigate the truck accident and document what they find at the scene. The CHP’s traffic collision report may come to a conclusion of fault and it may not. Most CHP accident scene investigators are very good. However, they are rarely experts in accident reconstruction. They rarely have the time or the resources to delve into the causes of a perplexing and complicated accident case, like television’s CSI programs portray.
More likely than not, the trucking company that owns the involved Freightliner tanker truck has their investigators in the field investigating this accident already. They know it is to their benefit to have professional investigators on the scene as soon as possible to protect their interests.
If Johnson was my daughter, I would want my team of experts looking into this case before she gets charged with anything. If I was her insurance company, I’d surely have my experts out there.
The family of the two young men that were passengers would be well served getting attorneys on their side early, so they can investigate this tragedy. It could be that Johnson was going too fast for the conditions, dozed for a moment or otherwise lost control of her vehicle. There could have been a tire blow out or a mechanical failure that caused the accident. There could have been a dangerous road condition that should have been attended to by some governmental agency. The possibilities are endless.
Getting representation early is much better than late. Preservation of the Honda for evidence is crucial, especially if there was a tire or mechanical failure. Thoroughly investigating the road conditions is also crucial in determining the real cause.
Please keep the injured and the family of Mr. McIntosh in your prayers and best wishes.