Off-Duty Los Angeles Fire Captain Killed in Collision with Caltrans Street Sweeper
Four people, all members of the same family, were killed in a violent Palmdale car accident the morning of July 3. According to a KTLA news report, the deceased were identified as Bryan Byrd, 21, Lei’ani Cathey, 20 and their two young daughters, Lei’niyah, 2, and Blayre, 1. The family was traveling in a four-door Kia on the Sierra Highway when their car swerved out of the lane, crossed over double yellow lines and collided head-on with an Antelope Valley Transit Authority vanpool vehicle.
Bryan Byrd, Cathey and Lei’niyah all died at the scene, while Blayre was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The children were both strapped in car seats and none of the victims were ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the van was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Officials are still looking into what caused this deadly collision. Relatives of the family have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral expenses. The investigation is still ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family for their utterly devastating loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2014 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 14 fatalities and 633 injuries as a result of car accidents in Palmdale. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 606 people died and 51,988 were injured due to traffic accidents during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Kia, Bryan Byrd, lost control of the vehicle and allowed it to drift into opposing lanes of traffic, which triggered the head-on collision. There are still several unanswered questions here. Was the driver fatigued or did he fall asleep at the wheel? Was there an auto defect or mechanical malfunction, which caused the driver, Byrd, to lose control of the vehicle? Did any other vehicle play a part in triggering this crash? We trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what caused this horrific and tragic crash.
In such cases, it would be a good idea to preserve the damaged vehicles so they can be properly and thoroughly examined by an accident reconstruction expert for all possible evidence including defects and malfunctions. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to help injured victims and their families understand their legal rights and options.