A woman identified as 28-year-old Gina Fierro-Vilcampo lost her life Monday, October 8, 2018, just before 7 a.m. when her car launched into a 15-foot deep, unfenced pit around 6400 West SR 111 (New Bingham Highway) in West Jordan, Utah.
According to KSL News, a person driving a three-axle commercial truck heading west, turned left directly in front of Ms. Fierro-Vicampo, who was heading east driving a white SUV in a 55-mph zone. A witness who saw the crash and called 911, said when the truck driver made his or her turn that Ms. Fierro-Vicampo swerved to miss it, then overcorrected, and drove into an open construction pit. Police say that Ms. Fierro-Vicampo was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene of the crash.
If the news report is accurate, then this left-hand turning driver along with his or her company, are responsible for the full consequences of the driver’s actions. According to a photo taken at the scene by a reporter from Gephardt Daily, the truck appears to belong to Ace Recycling and Disposal.
Motorists who drive on Utah roads are required to yield the right of way when they make left-hand turns. This is especially true for drivers of heavy commercial vehicles, like the one pictured in this story, as these drivers are considered “professional drivers” and have a heightened duty to drive carefully around other motorists. It is unknown if the driver was behind schedule or what the motivation was for turning in front of the SUV. Legally speaking, the family has two years to bring a claim under Utah law or one year if the claim is against a government entity.
Ron Kramer is an attorney practicing personal injury in West Jordan and throughout Utah.