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Archive for February 2012

Drunk Driver Danae Marie Miller Guilty for Bicyclist’s Death in Newport Beach Crash

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Source: Orange County District Attorney Office news release

NEWPORT BEACH, California – Drunk Driver Danae Marie Miller was sentenced to four years in state prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, according to a news release by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

“Hopefully this case will be a wake-up call to other drivers who are text messaging and driving that no message or call is worth someone’s life including their own,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm.

On February 21, 2011, Miller, 23, of Newport Coast, was drinking at her workplace, Zinc Café I Corona Del Mar.  She left the Zinc Café about 6 p.m. and drove her 2008 Volkswagen Jetta eastbound on the San Joaquin Hills Road. While she was driving, Miller was also repeatedly text messaging on her cell phone. She was so distracted that she struck Amine Britel, 41, from behind and she died at the scene of the crash.

Newport Beach Police Department officiers arrived at the scene of the bicycle accident and found Miller displaying signs of being drunk including bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, a flushed face and the smell of alcohol on her breath. Police tested Miller’s blood alcohol content at 7:45 p.m. and it was .10 percent.

Bicyclist Accident Statistics

Source: California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report

Bicyclists need to be especially cautious on our roadways because they are more vulnerable to injury or death than those traveling on our roadways inside cars, trucks or buses. The city of Newport Beach recorded two bicyclists killed and 95 injured in traffic accidents in 2009, according to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Report. In Orange County, there were 12 bicyclists killed and 1,199 injured in traffic accidents in 2009. In California, there were 109 bicyclists killed and 11,993 injured in traffic accidents in 2009.

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The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST.  For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought 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.

Categories : Bicycle Accident News
Tags : Amine Britel, , bicycle accidents, Corona Del Mar, Danae Marie Miller, driving under the influence, , Drunk Driver Danae Marie Miller, , , Francisco Jesus Ochoa, Irvine personal injury law firm, newport beach, Newport Beach bicycle accident, , , Orange County District Attorney's office., , Zinc Cafe

Source: San Diego County Medical Examiner report.

SAN DIEGO, California – Daniela Lopez, 22, was struck and killed by a car Tuesday afternoon as she was crossing the street near the intersection of Logan Avenue and 49th Street, according to a San Diego County Medical Examiner report.

Paramedics responded to the scene of the crash and initiated advanced life saving measures and transported her to the hospital emergency department. Despite aggressive effort to save her life, she could not be revived and death was pronounced in the trauma unit, the report said.

California Pedestrian Law

“Motorists are required by law to yeild the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway whether they are in a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950, however, pedestrians also have a duty on roadways to exercise due care for his or her own safety. “No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

It is incumbent upon a driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk that they exercise all due care and reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian, the law says.

Under no circumstances does the requirement that pedestrians exercise due care does that “relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”

Indeed, drivers are typically responsible to victims of pedestrian accidents and liable for their injuries financially, Seegmiller said.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Source: California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report

Pedestrians need to be especially cautious on our roadways because they are more vulnerable to injury or death. There were 57 pedestrians killed and 937 others injured in car accidents in San Diego County in 2009, according to the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report.  Overall there were 217 fatal traffic accidents and 12,993 injuries in 2009 in San Diego.

In California, there were 598 pedestrians killed and 12,418 injured in 2009, according to the CHP traffic report.

National data compiled by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Authority shows that pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the United States were up 4.9% in 2010 to 4,280 deaths and injuries were up 19% in 2010 to 70,000 people injured.

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The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST.  For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought 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.

 

 

 

Latest Victim of Pedal Misappropriation: CVS Drugstore in Orange

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

ORANGE COUNTY, California –  What do a pair of doughnut shops, a drugstore and a Christian church have in common? These buildings were all victims of recent car crashes by elderly drivers who mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal. Pedal misappropriation can happen any time or place and the consequences are not only damaging to the buildings they hit, but deadly to anyone in the driver’s path.

  • The latest car crash due to accelerator misappropriation was at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday when an 84-year-old woman crashed her silver Toyota sedan into the front of a CVS drugstore at 2138 N. Tustin Street in Orange. The driver was attempting to park in a handicapped parking space. Fortunately no one was injured in the car crash.
  • An 84-year-old Irvine woman crashed her Toyota Camry into the Heritage Christian Fellowship church on Thursday morning about 10 a.m. after she mistook the gas pedal for the brake.
  • A 90-something driver was injured and she struck three men when she crashed her Cadillac Northstar into DK’s Donuts on January 30 at 3744 E. Chapman Avenue. She was attempting to back out of a parking space, but hit the gas by accident.
    • On Feb. 19, a man in his 60s having trouble placing his vehicle in park suddenly hit the gas pedal and drove into Donut Star in Sana Ana at 2509 S. Harbor Boulevard. Two bystanders were treated for minor injuries at the scene of the car accident.

Indeed pedal misappropriation is more often associated with older drivers whose slower reaction time, weaker muscles and sometimes foot or leg problems can make it difficult to press the appropriate pedal when driving. Sometimes such pedal errors can lead to deadly crashes with serious injuries or death.

Some of the deadliest crashes caused by pedal errors in California include a 2003 crash in Santa Monica where 10 people were killed and 63 were injured after 86-year-old George Russell Weller sped through a busy farmer’s market at an estimated 60 mph. He was later found guilty of 10 counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

At his trial, the Los Angeles Times reported in Sept. 2006, Weller’s attorney called an expert witness who testified that drivers react two ways to pedal error: they either hit the pedal harder or start pumping the pedal because they wonder why the brake isn’t working, psychologist Anthony Stein told the court. He added that once a driver has made a pedal error it’s nearly impossible to correct the mistake.

Other deadly accidents involving pedal error include a San Diego crash where an 86-year-old man hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and ran down a 40-year-old man at Costco leaving him seriously injured. Additionally, a 91-year-old man died more than a year ago after he drove his Chevrolet pickup truck off a cliff at Cabrillo National Monument Park in San Diego.

“Certainly no driver intends to hit the gas instead of the brakes, but those who do are liable to victims for their injuries and to business and property owners for property damages they cause in such accidents,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm.

______________________________________________________________________________

The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST.  For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought 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.

 

 

 

Categories : Car Accident News
Tags : church car accident, CVS drug store, DK's Donuts, Donut Star, doughnut shop car accident, drugstore car accident, farmer's market crash, farmer's market santa monica crash, Heritage Christian Fellowship church, orange county accident, orange county pedal error accident, pedal error, pedal error accident, pedal misappropriation, pedal misappropriation accident, vehicular manslaughter

Woo C. Chong Killed, Two Injured in Head On Crash in Pauma Valley

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Source: San Diego County Medical Examiner report.

SAN DIEGO, California —  Woo C. Chong, 77, of Los Angeles was killed Saturday morning on State Route 76 after the car he was traveling in as a passenger swerved into oncoming traffic and was struck head on by a 2006 Suzuki Forenza sedan, according to a San Diego County Medical Examiner report.

The driver of a 2003 Acura RSX was traveling westbound on State Route 76 just west of Adams Drive in Pauma Valley about 7:45 a.m. when he momentarily lost control of the vehicle and veered into opposing traffic, the report said. Chong was transported to Palomar Hospital in Escondido where he died about an hour later.  Both drivers were also transported to the hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries sustained in the car crash.

The California Highway Patrol in Oceanside is investigating the accident, but it is not believed that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

 San Diego Car Accident Statistics

There were 217 people killed and 12,993 injured in San Diego traffic accidents reported in 2009, according to the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Report.  Roughly half or 103 of these fatal crashes involved alcohol and 1,754 of the injuries involved alcohol, the report said.

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.

Police investigate every car accident involving a death to determine the cause of a crash, said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm. The investigation will seek to find out if either driver was under the influence of alcohol, distracted or if there were any circumstances that may have led to the crash that were illegal or reckless.

Sometimes drivers have medical emergencies that cause them to veer off the roadway. Also, heavy rain, fog, or carelessness by other drivers may lead to a loss of control on our busy roadways, Seegmiller said.

______________________________________________________________________________

The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST.  For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought 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.

 

 

 

 

Categories : Car Accident News
Tags : , , Pauma Valley car accident, Pauma Valley crash, San Diego car accident, , Suzuki Forenza, Woo C. Chong

Deadly Week for Riverside County Pedestrian Accidents as Four are Killed

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Source: Riverside County Sheriff Coroner press release

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, California – It’s been a particularly deadly week for pedestrians in Riverside County as four people are killed in three separate crashes in San Jacinto, Palm Springs and Riverside, according to Riverside County Sheriff Coroner press releases.

First on Thursday, about 12:30 p.m., Carmen Pineda, 37, was struck and killed by a pickup truck as she walked on the dirt shoulder of Arlington Avenue just west of Fairhaven Drive. The Dodge pickup truck hit Pineda after swerving off road in an effort to avoid a head-on crash with a black pickup truck that the driver said crossed over the center lane into oncoming traffic.

The driver of the black pickup truck fled the scene, but the driver of the Dodge remained with the victim at the scene. Pineda was transported to Riverside Community Hospital where she died of her injuries about 1:30 p.m.

Next, on Friday night about 7:30 p.m., World War II Veteran Robert Mathiasen, 87, of Goleta who was visiting Palm Springs for a bomb squadron reunion was struck and killed as he crossed North Palm Canyon Drive with his wife Lorraine Mathiasen, 83.

The couple was crossing the street between Via Esculela and Vista Chino when they were both struck by a Ford Taurus. They were transported to Desert Regional Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit where he died nearly two hours later at 9:18 p.m. and she remained listed in critical condition, but later died on Monday.

Then at about 6:20 p.m. on Sunday in San Jacinto, Karla Bracamonte, 29, of Moreno Valley was struck and killed by the driver of a 2004 Dodge Durango SUV at the intersection of 7th Street just west of Grand Avenue. San Jacinto Police Department officers pronounced the young woman dead at the scene after aggressive efforts to resuscitate her failed. The driver of the SUV was not injured in the crash.

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 Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise

Source: California Statewide Integrated Traffic Report, National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration

Indeed pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in the United States, but researchers do not know what is behind the dramatic increase. The deadliest states for pedestrians are California, followed by Texas and Florida. Pedestrians need to be especially cautious on our roadways because they are so vulnerable, said West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm.

“Drivers who hit pedestrians may be negligent for injuring or killing a pedestrian, but as pedestrians we are also required to obey traffic signals and cross safely,” Seegmiller said. “Being alert and prepared is your best defense, but also drivers need to slow down and be alert for pedestrians.”

National data compiled by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration shows that pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the United States were up 4.9% in 2010 to 4,280 deaths and injuries were up 19% in 2010 to 70,000 people injured. In Riverside County, there were 39 pedestrians killed and 370 injured in 2009 according to the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report.  In California, there were 598 pedestrians killed and 12,418 injured in 2009.

While there has been no definitive explanation as to why there has been an increase in overall pedestrian traffic accidents in the United States, one research study specifically looked at pedestrian traffic accidents involving those wearing headphones.

The study was headed up by Richard Lichenstein, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The research shows that serious injuries to pedestrians are more likely if they are listening to music on headphones such as iPods.

The study reviewed some 116 traffic accidents involving pedestrians who were killed or injured by a vehicle or train while wearing headphones in the United States. The study focused on accidents that took place between the years 2004 to 2011.

The results showed the majority of the cases or (68%) were male and roughly two-thirds (67%) of victims were under 30 years old. In about one third (29%) the driver sounded a horn before the crash, but the pedestrian did not hear it. Also, (55%) of the cases studied involved a train and (89%) were located in urban counties.

“Ultimately the study showed that pedestrians using cell phones or listening to iPods are isolated from outside stimuli and so distracted that their behavior was less cautious and more risky than normal when crossing roadways,” Seegmiller said.

California Pedestrian Law

When pedestrians are in our roadways it is incumbent upon both the driver and the pedestrian to be aware of one another and proceed carefully. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950, drivers are required “to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.”

However, the law also requires a pedestrian to exercise “due care for his or her safety.”  The law says that pedestrians create a hazard if they “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle.”

The law further explains that pedestrians are not supposed to “unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

Keep in mind that the “driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”

Certainly pedestrian accidents occur for many reasons and it’s impossible to prevent them all from happening, but our roadways will ultimately be safer if everyone follows the rules of the road and drivers slow down.

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The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST.  For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought 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

Tags : , Carmen Pineda, , Lorraine Mathiasen, , pedestrian accidents on rise, pedestrian injury statistics, pedestrian riverside accident, , , Riverside pedestrian accidents, Robert Mathiasen
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