West Valley Fatal Accident Closes Bangerter Highway

A man, Francisco Garcia, 18 years-old, is dead following a high-speed motor vehicle accident happening in West Valley, Utah. According to KSL News, a man driving a mini-van early on September 22, 2012, northbound on Bangerter Highway ran a red light at the overpass at U201. Another motorist, Francisco Garcia, was traveling south on a green light and was struck by the mini-van driver. The collision was significant and Garcia died as a result of his injuries. Other passengers suffered injuries, ranging from minor to significant. Another motorist was also involved in the collision, but they are said to be uninjured. Bangerter Highway was shut down while emergency crews and police personnel were on the scene.

I send my deep condolences to the family of Francisco Garcia and to those who were injured in this needless auto accident.

Utah Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Claim

Legally speaking, motorists are required to stop at traffic signals. Running a red light in this instance was, in my opinion, reckless. We see in this case the tragic results that can happen to innocent drivers and passengers where motorists drive recklessly. All those injured, and the family of Francisco Garcia, have a claim against the at-fault driver. The wrongful death claim must be brought within 2 years and the injury claims must be brought within 4 years. I suspect in this case that there will be insufficient insurance coverage on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. There is likely additional coverage on the under-insured insurance policies for the individual victims of this crash.

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.

Utah Texting Accident Results in Charges by Prosecuting Attorney

Two years ago, on September 19, 2010, Jessica Raylene Wilson, 28, a pedestrian crossing a street against a signal with a friend, was hit along with her friend on the BYU campus in Provo by a motorist who police say was texting on his phone at the time of the collision. Now that driver, Cades Myles Krueger, 29 years of age, is being charged by the prosecuting attorney with negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor and with texting while driving, a class C misdemeanor. According to KSL News, the court filing on this case states: “In reviewing Krueger’s phone records, his testimony and the surveillance video, Krueger was both sending and receiving text messages while driving and immediately prior to hitting the pedestrians.” The family of Jessica Wilson has already filed a civil action against Krueger in 2011.

Jessica Wilson sadly passed away following this texting-while-driving accident. Her friend a 27 year-old woman visiting from Estonia, was critically injured in the crash, but thankfully survived.

Texting while driving in Utah is illegal and is considered more potentially disabling to a motorist than driving while impaired. Because of the prevalence of texting while driving, a Utah auto accident attorney would be wise to inquire into possible cell phone distraction at the time of the accident. Evidence of using a cell phone, if found to exist, could greatly increase the culpability and therefore value of even a simple rear-end collision. While most such collisions are considered to be a case of simple negligence that can happen to anyone, when the inattention comes from fooling with the phone, it can turn the case into one where punitive damages may be warranted.

Ron Kramer is a Utah personal injury and disability attorney practicing law throughout Utah. 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.

Orem DUI Motorcycle Accident Takes Man’s Life

It happened early this morning, September 14, 2012, that a man, Juan Ernesto Salazar Conce, 31 years old of Orem, lost his life when the motorcycle he was a passenger on was rear-ended by a motorist in a passenger car. According to KSL News, a driver of a Mitsubishi had chosen to drive impaired and appeared to be driving at a high rate of speed on the I-15 through Pleasant Grove when the driver rear-ended a motorcycle with two men on it. The impact caused the motorcyclist to lose control and crash, resulting in the passenger coming off the back and into traffic, where several cars stuck him.

The driver of the motorcycle, Irving Tellez Acevedo, was also injured and is in critical condition at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. The motorist was taken into custody after he apparently failed the police sobriety test and police found prescription pills and evidence of alcohol in his car. He is expected to be charged with DUI and automobile homicide.

I send my condolences to the family and friends of Juan Ernesto for this needless loss and my best wishes to the motorcycle driver for the best recovery possible.

Legally speaking, it sounds as if the impaired motorist is completely responsible for this motorcycle accident occurring. This being the case, the family of Juan Ernesto and the driver of the motorcycle have a claim against the driver of the Mitsubishi, with the family of Juan Ernesto having a wrongful death claim. Claims for injuries must be made within four years of the incident and wrongful death claims must be made within two years.

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.

Vernal Texting Accident Takes Boy’s Life & County Attorney May Prosecute

A fifteen year-old boy, Tommy Clark, lost his life due to an inattentive driver who admitted to police he was texting while driving. According to KSL News, this Vernal, Utah accident happened Sunday, September 2, 2012, as Tommy Clark was walking with a friend around 9 p.m. along 500 West near 1200 South. The motorist, driving a pickup truck, veered toward the side of the road and stuck Clark from behind, throwing him 40 feet through the air. He landed in a ditch, near a cow pasture. Tommy was taken by ambulance to Ashley Regional Medical Center and from there was transferred by helicopter to Primary Children’s Medical Center. He was taken off life support a day later and died around 1:20 p.m.

The motorist told police that he was texting at the time of the collision. The Uintah County Attorney’s office is currently investigating filing charges against the motorist, who has an extensive history of traffic and speeding violations going back ten years as well as a DUI.

This is a terrible tragedy, which was completely preventable. I send my deep condolences to this boy’s family and friends.

In Utah, texting while driving is illegal. Many still do it, however. While most people “get lucky” and nothing happens, this story is a reminder that fatal accidents like this can happen at any time if we drive while distracted by a cell phone.

I think the public will be outraged if charges are not filed against the motorist. I expect the Uintah County Attorney will file these fairly soon. In the meantime, the family of young Tommy Clark has a claim against the motorist for wrongful death. The policy limits of the man’s insurance should be paid over, as well as the death benefits. Additionally, his family can make a claim on their “underinsured” policy.

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. Click here for information on Utah’s Statute of Limitations.