ALPINE, California (San Diego County) – Michael Claude Roe, 45, and his unidentified 49-year-old male passenger were both killed Thursday morning after the pickup truck Roe was driving veered off the westbound Interstate Route 8 Highway, struck a tree and rolled over, according to a San Diego Medical Examiner report.
A witness told police they stopped to help free the trapped men from the wreckage, but were unable to get them out. He then called paramedics to the scene, but the men both died of major injuries at the crash site about 11:10 a.m. just west of East Victoria Road, the report said. Police believe the truck was traveling at normal highway speeds of about 65 mph at the time of the crash.
California Car Accident Statistics
In California, fatal traffic accidents were down 12% to 2,715 deaths in 2010 compared to 3,090 killed in 2009, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, national statistics show that traffic fatalities have declined in recent years across the United States, down roughly 3% to 32,885 deaths in 2010 compared to 33,883 killed in 2009.
San Diego Car Accident Investigation
Police investigate every car accident involving a death to determine the cause of a crash in order to find out the liable party, said West Seegmiller, a San Diego wrongful death attorney. A driver can be found negligent and liable for injuries they cause if they do not exercise ordinary care while driving on our roadways. In other words, their behavior was not intentional, but it fell below the standard of care required for motorists and someone was injured or killed as a result of their actions.
“Distracted drivers, sleepy drivers or those eating or fiddling with personal belongings while behind the wheel would be considered negligent under California law,” Attorney West Seegmiller explains. “It’s not intentional, but it falls below the standard of ordinary care required under California law.”
The investigation will also seek to determine if a driver was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, distracted or whether they violated the law by failing to yield a pedestrian. Also, police are seeking to find out if there are circumstances that may have led to the crash that were illegal or reckless.
“Families of victims killed in car accidents not only have to cope with the loss of a loved one, but later their lives are hindered due to the loss of income, funeral and medical costs,” said Seegmiller. “Every driver is required to have insurance in case they are in a car accident so they can assist and support financially anyone who is injured or killed.”