William Steele, 41, was fatally injured in a Riverside County car accident after the vehicle in which he was traveling collided with another car at a street intersection. According to The Press-Enterprise, the collision occurred at the intersection of State Street and Esplanade Avenue in San Jacinto, the night of September 18, 2012. Officials say the two vehicles crashed causing Steele’s SUV to burst into flames. Steele was ejected from the SUV and died at the scene. The other driver was uninjured. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of William Steele for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Riverside County Car Accidents
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 101 injuries reported as a result of car accidents in San Jacinto. In Riverside County as a whole, 190 people died and 7,632 were injured due to car accidents during the same year.
Based on this news report, the collision occurred at a large intersection, which is monitored by traffic lights. It is unclear if one of the drivers failed to the yield the right of way or ran a red light at the intersection causing this fatal crash. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21800 (a): “The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.”
California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
Fault and Liability
In such cases, the at-fault driver can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise car accident victims or their families regarding their legal rights and options.