Family of Three Killed in Tragic Utah Auto Accident

Three Utah residents were killed following a deadly Utah car accident in Lake Point, Utah. The accident, which happened on Friday, January 29, 2010 resulted in the fatalities of Jacob Herrera, 21; his girlfriend, Kristi Westfall, 30; and their small son, Damian. The three were driving in a Dodge Intrepid southbound, when they swerved into the far end of the northbound lane before ending up sideways where it was hit by a semi-truck at around 6:45 pm. The truck crashed into the driver’s side of the Dodge killing all three occupants on impact. The Deseret News reports that this fatal Utah auto accident happened near the roads junction with Interstate 80.

The driver of the semi-truck thought the Dodge was making a turn in front of him. The driver did not know the vehicle had come to a complete stop.

What a tragedy for this young family. I offer my sincere condolences to friends and family as they attempt to cope with this loss.

National Seat Belt Statistics

For every one percent increase in seat belt use, 172 lives and close to 100 million dollars in damages could be avoided. When used properly, seat belt use can reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and decrease fatalities by 60-70 percent.

According to a study performed by James Madison University, motorists are 25 times as likely to be seriously injured or killed when they are thrown out of the vehicle than when they remain inside. In a 30 m.p.h accident, a 160 pound person can hit another person in the car, hit an object in the car or crash through a windshield with an incredible 4,800 pounds of force.

Utah law requires children to ride in child safety sears until they are 8 years old. The driver of the vehicle is responsible to assure that all occupants in his or her car are buckled up. A simple reminder from a driver to buckle up goes a long way. Nine of ten people put on their seat belt when asked by another party in the car.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

UHP Trooper Hit by Van in Utah Auto Accident

Utah Highway Patrol trooper Rachael Zubal, was hit by a car while responding to a Utah auto accident on Saturday, January 30, 2010. Zubal says that she and a UHP trainee responded to an accident near mile marker 337 in Sunset, Utah. She was standing on the side of the highway near the patrol car when a van came skidding towards her going about 40 m.p.h. The van was believed to have hit a patch of ice causing the driver to lose control.

“I didn’t remember anything after that. Just woke up on the ground, pretty alarmed,” says Zubal. “It was all surreal until I realized I had indeed been struck by a vehicle.”

Zubal was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah where she was treated for serious injuries. This Utah auto accident broke Zubal’s hip and pelvis and cut and bruised her head and face. Despite the seriousness of the injuries, she is expected to be okay and Trooper Zubal is certainly thankful to be alive.

“I always figured your luck would run out and I’d get trunked or struck, but I always thought I’d be in my vehicle. I never imagined it would be outside the vehicle,” she says. “The red and blue lights aren’t just toys. We have them there for a reason.”

According to KSL news, 20 troopers have been hit while helping other drivers over the last several months. Over the past 12 years, traffic-related accidents have been the number one cause of death for police officers across the country. The UHP is asking drivers to slow down when they see those red and blue lights on the side of the road. They also ask drivers to move over as much as possible, look for warnings signs and hazards, and focus on your driving and nothing else.

Did you know that moving over when an officer has his or her lights flashing is actually required by law? It’s not just a suggestion, you can get a ticket if you are able (and the lane change is safe) to move away from the inside lane when an officer is on the side of the road with his or her lights on.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Utah auto accident, contact my office today and request a FREE copy of my Utah Accident Book. In my book, I tell the 13 mistakes that could ruin your Utah auto accident claim.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-666-3959 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.