Three Men Perish in Utah Plane Crash

Price resident, Larry Newby, 55, and two passengers, died in a plane crash on April 25, 2012. According to KSL News, the men were in a single-engine Cessna 185 airplane sightseeing near the Four Corners area when the plane went down.

 

Redtail Aviation of Price, Utah, who employed pilot Larry Newby, but who did not own the plane, contacted the sheriff’s office to report that an emergency beacon had been transmitting for several hours from the same location. Based on this, the San Juan County Sheriff’s office and the Utah Highway Patrol flew to the scene in a helicopter, where they discovered the downed plane. They noted that all three occupants of the plane had perished.

The plane was registered to Kyle Richardson of Midland, TX. He was on board along with his father, Wade Richardson, from Ozona, TX. Investigators are not sure who was piloting the plane.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah wrongful death attorney.

Salt Lake Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested

Eugene Nelson, 51 years-old, lost his life in a Salt Lake City, 500 S. Main St., crosswalk on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. According to KSL News, Nelson was struck by William Ryan Fullmer, 21, from Tooele, who subsequently fled the scene after he collided with the pedestrian in the crosswalk. Fullmer was later located and taken to the Salt Lake County Jail, preliminary charged with leaving the scene of an accident and automobile homocide. Investigators say that Fullmer and his date were driving through Salt Lake City when Eugene Nelson, 51, was in a crosswalk at the intersection of 500 S. Main. Police say that Nelson was thrown approximately 60 feet into the intersection after Fullmer’s car struck him. Police say he died on impact.

According to reports, after the pedestrian was hit, Fullmer pulled over and went to the victim. He alleges that when he saw the deceased victim, he panicked and fled the scene, driving back to his home in Tooele, Utah. And he might have gotten away with it if Fullmer’s girlfriend didn’t step forward and report what happened to the police. She told police that they had consumed alcohol prior to and during the Jazz game they had attended. Police then dr0ve out to Tooele to confront Fullmer about this fatal accident where they found the damaged vehicle.

I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Nelson for this needless death.

Although the pedestrian was said to have been crossing against a signal, motorists are still required to be aware and look for pedestrians as they approach crosswalks and are required at all times to yield to them — even when their light is green. This story is similar to the sad Salt Lake pedestrian accident in November 2011 when a pedestrian was similarly hit as he was allegedly crossing against a signal. In that case, however, the motorist was not arrested or even charged. Why? He didn’t flee the scene. Even if the motorist in this case had alcohol in his system, which may have been the reason why he fled, he still should have morally stopped to render aid to the victim. While it’s not clear that this motorist’s aid would have helped, it could have, and would have been the right thing to do after he inflicted massive injures on this pedestrian.

Legally speaking, the family of Eugene Nelson, including, if applicable, his wife, children and parents, have a wrongful death claim against the motorist. And even though the deceased may have been crossing against a signal, a careful and prudent driver would have likely spotted the pedestrian and yielded to him. At a minimum, they would have slowed down significantly so that this story would be about an injured pedestrian, not a fatally-injured one.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah pedestrian accident attorney.

Moab Man Loses Life in Rollover Accident

37-year-old Ricky L. Rush lost his life on Saturday, April 21, 2012, seven miles southeast of Moab following a single-car rollover accident. KSL News reports that Rush was traveling in his pickup truck on an unpaved road when he lost control of the truck and it swayed to the right approximately 30 feet off of the road. The truck hit into a large boulder and rolled over. Rush was ejected from the truck at the time of the accident. No other individuals were in the truck with him. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident.

I offer my sincere condolences to the family of this man.

As a Utah personal injury attorney, I wish I had more information about how Ricky Rush lost control of his truck. Perhaps he had a medical condition. There could have been a defect with the vehicle. Sadly, it sounds like Mr. Rush was not wearing a seat belt. There are unanswered questions here that make this crash very puzzling. I’ll keep my eyes open if any additional information surfaces.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Utah Reckless Driving Accident Takes Woman’s Life

Eva A. Trump, 41 from Morgan, Utah, lost her life on Monday, April 23, 2012. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the woman was northbound on I-15 and is accused by law enforcement of driving recklessly. According to police, she veered off the roadway to the right into a construction area and lost control of her vehicle. She ended up overcorrecting and went through all northbound lanes to the left, though the median, off an embankment and into a southbound semitrailer. Her vehicle went under the tires of the trailer. At the time of the accident, Eva was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from her vehicle. Investigators say that she was not impaired at the time of the accident.

I send my condolences to her family for their loss.

The take away from this, is that reckless driving can kill. So can not wearing a safety belt. Construction areas are always marked with a slower speed limit and, unfortunately, require more patience to get through. Part of the agreement we made when we got our drivers license was to follow the rules of the road. The rules help make highways safer and, ultimately, make us safer.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Constuction and Traffic Hazards Continue in Utah County

The Utah Department of Transportation announced several closures along the I-15 in Utah County that will be an inconvenience to commuters beginning today, Monday, April 23, 2012. KSL News reports that UDOT is going to dive into multiple projects that will close several on and off ramps in Orem, Utah throughout the next few months. The Orem projects will be the first of many long-term closures.

Starting on Monday, half of the intersection at 1600 North will be closed for approximately 30 days which will include the northbound on-ramp to I-15 and the southbound off-ramp from I-15. This will be the first of two phases on that intersection.

Second will be the entire interchange at 800 North, which will remain under construction for a projected 42 days. Following this, UDOT will then close the entire Orem Center Street interchange for 30 days. Upon completion of the Center Street construction, they will be moving back to 1600 North for the second phase of the project, where they expect to close down the entire interchange for 15 days. We are told that these projects will be completed by August.

UDOT says they want to warn commuters to pay close attention to construction as it may impact the flow of traffic dramatically. The good news is that the University Parkway interchange will remain open as construction there will end in May.

These Utah county construction zones can pose great threats for Utah drivers. Believe me, I drive through this area daily during the work week. We all need to pay close attention to construction warning signs, look for other vehicles around us and drive with caution. Speed limits through these construction areas continues to be 55 miles per hour.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah construction accident attorney.

Man Dead After Run-Over in Draper, Utah

A maintenance worker from Weber County was hit by a vehicle while working at the Draper Spectrum shopping center on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. According to KSL News, the Draper police were called to an incident that happened at 150 East and 11950 South. Upon arriving at the scene, they found the man in a storm drain. The driver of the vehicle apparently drove into a parking lot that is not intended for vehicles. The driver of the vehicle drove over the storm drain and into the maintenance worker. The maintenance worker was transported to the Intermountain Medical Center in serious condition. He later passed away at this same hospital. His identity has not yet been released.

Though there is not much information as to who the driver is and why he or she was driving around this maintenance worker, it sounds like there might be a basis for making a Utah personal injury claim. From the sound of it, if this driver was driving in an area where cars are not allowed, there would be a strong likelihood that the family of this man can make and support a Utah wrongful death claim. I would recommend that the family consult with an attorney to find out whether there is a basis for making such a claim.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Duchesne Man Brought to Justice After Impaired Driving Incident

In a near-fatal accident last year, a man from Highland, who struck a 6-year-old girl while driving impaired, was sentenced for his recklessness on Thursday, April 19, 2012. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 45-year-old Joseph Mitchell Pantos plead guilty to his actions in 8th District Court to reduced counts of third degree felony charges for possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor for driving with a measurable amount of the controlled substance, and a class C misdemeanor count of failing to yield to a pedestrian. He was sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of $130,000 in victim restitution. The accident occurred back on September 29, 2011 when Pantos struck the girl in a crosswalk on U.S. 40 and about 100 West in Duchesne, Utah. Pantos was under the influence of methamphetamine. The girl was thrown 40 feet when his Chevrolet Colorado hit her. She was flown to the Primary Children’s hospital in critical condition. Pantos was arrested that same day.

Legally speaking, the young victim’s parents have a claim against this reckless driver. Somehow, though, I suspect that this man didn’t carry much insurance. In such cases, a claim against the parent’s “under-insured” policy can be made to make up the shortfall. In this case, I doubt the insurance from both polices combined will make this little girl whole.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Govenor Signs Bill to Make TRAX Safer to Public

Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill that is intended to increase pedestrian and motor vehicle safety around railroad crossings on Monday, April 16, 2012. The Deseret News reported that a bill, SB-195 was constructed in order to help increase safety measures around Utah railways. The bill was established in lieu of multiple accidents and deaths caused on the railways. Several restrictions mentioned in the bill include limiting when a vehicle may turn around near railroad tracks or railroad grade crossings, prohibiting vehicles from driving through, around or under a crossing gate or barrier and limits on what pedestrians can do around railroad crossings or bridges.

Because of the several accidents involving TRAX, and UTA buses, the new law will specifically state when it is alright to proceed and when to stand clear of the vehicles. This new law will also state in simple terms what can and cannot be done around and along railways and railroad crossings. It will also strengthen the ability of law enforcement to issue citations for infractions when tampering or vandalism is done to transit equipment. Under the new law, it may become a felony when such obstructions are done. The law is expected to be put into place on May 8, 2012.

We have seen far too many accidents involving trains and pedestrians, and trains and other vehicles. While UTA usually attempts to blame the victim in these accidents, it’s also clear that UTA is free of fault from many of them that happen. Along with this law, though, I would like to see enhanced penalties for UTA TRAX operators who, through their negligence, contribute to another person being injured. Because of inherent conflicts of interest involved when the UTA investigates an accident involving one of its trains or buses, I think an independent review board needs to make a decision on whether these accidents are preventable or not. Only when there is independent oversight can we be assured (or at least more so) that unsafe operators employed by UTA are being weeded out in favor of those whose primary goal is the safety of the passengers they transport.

The above opinions belong to those of Ron Kramer, a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.

Man Passes Away in Salt Lake Motorcycle Accident

Kenneth Wayne Hemingway passed away in a motorcycle accident while riding on I-15 on Sunday, April 15, 2012. According to KSL News, 56-year-old Ken Hemingway was heading south on his motorcycle when he lost control and swerved to the right, hitting into a concrete barrier near 1000 South. He was thrown from his bike and landed about 100 feet away from point of impact. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say that speed may have been a factor in this motorcycle accident.

 

I offer my sincere condolences to the family of this man.

Those that ride motorcycles can be very vulnerable to injury and possible death when involved in an accident. Motorcyclists need to remain alert and cautious when traveling, especially at highway speeds. In any contest between another vehicle and a stationary object, the motorcycle — and its rider — will come out on the losing end.

In this case, though, I wonder if there was something that caused him to swerve into a stationary object. Was he cut off by another car? Did the rider have a health condition? Was there a mechanical failure on the motorcycle? In my mind, there are some unanswered questions that could help explain why this motorcycle accident happened in the first place.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah motorcycle accident attorney.

Crash Statistics Rank Duchesne and Salt Lake Counties as Having Worst Drivers

In a 2010 study in nine categories, Duchesne County drivers were ranked worst in Utah. KSL News reported that the Utah Highway Safety Office calculated a study which included nine “vehicle miles traveled” (VMT) categories. They included: overall crashes per VMT, fatal crashes per VMT, drunk driving crashes per VMT, speed-related crashes per VMT, motorcycle crashes per VMT, the percentage of unrestrained crash occupants, crashes involving teenage drivers, auto-pedestrian crashes and crashes between bicyclists and motor vehicles. It was concluded that out of nine categories, Duchesne County drivers exceeded the state average in the first six categories. Salt Lake County did not do too well either–they were ranked second in the state of Utah.

I definitely have noticed a trend of impatience and careless driving in the state of Utah. I have expressed several time how important it is to drive carefully. Too many drivers have become much too comfortable with their driving that they often forget the basics. As residents in the state of Utah, we really need to pay much more attention to “basic driving 101.” Don’t text, limit cellular phone calls, change radio stations at a stop light, etc. I feel that electronics have become so commonplace in driving that many individuals become distracted. Please focus on driving while operating your vehicle. Be observant. Pay attention to vehicles, pedestrians, and other objects that may cross your path. If these simple factors are instilled in our minds when out on the roads, so many accidents, injuries, and in some sad cases death could be avoided. Help make our roads safe.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and accident lawyer practicing throughout the state. Call the Kramer Law Group today at 801-601-1229 for a free consultation if you are in need of a Utah car accident attorney.