Six people suffered injuries in an ambulance versus van accident in Fountain Valley the afternoon of April 22, 2016. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the crash occurred at the intersection of Euclid Street and Warner Avenue. Police said the van was eastbound on Warner Avenue when it collided at the intersection with a CARE ambulance responding to a call with its emergency lights and sirens operating.
The ambulance overturned. Five people inside and a passenger in the van were hurt. It is not clear if the people in the ambulance were patients. Those injured were transported to area hospitals and are expected to survive. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
It is indeed fortunate that no one was critically injured in this collision. We wish all the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to a study done by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the 20-year period between 1992 and 2011, there were about 4,500 motor vehicle accidents involving an ambulance each year. Of these crashes, 65 percent resulted in property damage only, 34 percent resulted in injuries and less than 1 percent resulted in fatalities. The study also found that when it came to fatal and injury crashes involving ambulances, a majority (58-59 percent) occurred when the ambulance was responding to an emergency situation.
Emergency Vehicles Laws
California law requires motorists to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles when they have their lights and/or sirens on. California Vehicle Code 21806 states: “Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle which is sounding a siren and which has at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light that is visible…the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of any intersection, and thereupon shall stop and remain stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.”
In this case, if the driver of the van failed to yield the right of way, he or she can be held liable for the victims’ injuries and damages. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will be able analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable