DAGGETT, California – Driver Frances Abbott, 73, and her passenger Belinda Santana-Tadic, 68, both of Newberry Springs, were killed Friday in a single-vehicle car crash on Interstate 40 Needles Freeway in this unincorporated town about 10 miles east of Barstow, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff Coroner report.

About 2 p.m., Abbott was driving westbound in the No. 2 lane of the freeway near mile marker 9.50 when for unknown reasons she drifted across the No. 1 lane and onto the dirt shoulder. She lost control of the vehicle and it rolled over and landed on the north side of Interstate 40.

Paramedics arriving at the scene of the crash pronounced her dead about 3:04 p.m. the same day. Her passenger, Santana-Tadic was transported by paramedics to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center where she later died of her injuries at 6:51 p.m., the report said.

The California Highway Patrol are investigating the crash to determine what may have happened.

San Bernardino Car Accident Statistics

In San Bernardino County, 203 people were killed and 7,915 were injured in traffic accidents in 2010, according to the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report

San Bernardino Car Accident Law Firm

“Motorists lose control of their vehicles for many reasons including medical emergencies, poor road conditions and interference from other drivers,” said West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm.  “Police will ultimately investigate a fatal crash to find clues to determine what happened in an effort to assign liability for a wrongful death.”

Drivers are required under California law to have adequate insurance coverage to protect themselves, passengers and other motorists if there is a car accident involving injuries, death or property damage. Once liability is established the insurance company will be on the hook for the expenses paid on behalf of a victim.  Surviving family members of victims killed in a crash can file a wrongful death claim against the insurance company of the person who was liable for the crash. This claim will help them recoup medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of support and more.

This article was sponsored by the Seegmiller Law Firm. Our attorneys offer a free consultation for prospective clients who have been injured or have lost a loved one in a crash. Call 1-855-ASK–WEST (1-855-275-9378) to speak with an attorney.

For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought to win justice for clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, at-work injuries and more.  The firm has offices in Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.