70 Freeway Accidents

State Route 70 is a highway that spans more than 178 miles through California. At the west end, it connects to State Route 99 near Sacramento. On the east, it ends at US 395 near Beckwourth Pass. Much of the 70 Freeway is scenic and potentially treacherous. The 70 Freeway changes at certain stretches into an expressway, a surface street and a freeway. It crosses bridges, cuts through canyons and winds around mountains. It passes through Sutter County, Yuba County, Butte County and Lassen County. It is particularly busy where it meets the 99 in Sacramento, the 65 South in Roseville, the 20 West in Yuba City, the 162 in Richvale and where it ends at the US 395 near Reno.

70 Freeway Crash

State Route 70 is a winding road with many tunnels and changes in elevation where there is the potential for accidents to occur. According to a news report in The Appeal-Democrat, a fatal collision occurred on Highway 70 in Plumas County the afternoon of July 31, 2012. Officials say William Carta, 78, was driving through road construction near Elephant Butte Tunnel when his vehicle veered into the opposite lane. His 1964 Chevrolet pickup truck struck the tunnel wall before veering back and striking the opposite tunnel wall. William Carta suffered major injuries and his wife, Marilyn Carta, 75, died during surgery after the crash. Investigators believe that the headlights on the old truck may have gone out inside the dark tunnel. 

This fatal crash is a good example of how dangerous the 70 Freeway can be. There are many changes in elevations, dark tunnels, changes in speed limits and traffic congestion issues along state route 70 that can prove difficult for drivers to handle.

Causes of 70 Freeway Accidents

There are many reasons why the 70 Freeway is dangerous for motorists. Some of the most common causes of 70 Freeway accidents include:

  • Heavy Trucks: Lumbering is still an active industry along SR 70. Drivers have to look out for slow-moving, loaded lumber trucks near the Western Pacific Railroad Bridge. There are also parts of the highway that are used by large tractor-trailers. Parts of this roadway have small shoulders and long turns where it is easy for trucks to drift from their lane of traffic.
  • Speed: Motorists traveling on the 70 Freeway must maintain control of their vehicle. It is simply too unpredictable a roadway for drivers to take risks and exceed the speed limit. At any moment, a speeding driver can lose control on a turn or while going downhill.
  • Distracted Driving: Remaining attentive is crucial to traveling safely on SR 70. Taking your eyes off the roadway can end in tragedy.
  • Head-on Collisions: Because of the twists and turns, it is more likely that speeding, impaired or distracted drivers may drift into oncoming traffic. When a head-on collision occurs at such high speeds, it could result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities.
  • Debris: Whenever you travel through mountains and rough terrain, there is the potential for debris and rocks to be on the roadway. Motorists would be well advised to keep a look out for hazardous conditions on the roadway. These types of hazards are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists whose vehicles can veer out of control after hitting a rock or pothole.

Victims of State Route 70 Accidents

The experienced California car accident lawyers at our law firm help injured victims of freeway accidents. In such cases victims can seek compensation from at-fault parties for damages including medical bills, hospitalization and rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. In cases where a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident, the governmental entity responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. But, in such cases, a personal injury claim must be filed within 180 days of the incident. To obtain more information about your legal rights and options, please contact us for a free consultation.


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