California teenager killed in fiery crash

A 16-year-old high school junior and her grandmother were returning from a baby shower about when their 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis was hit by a Dodge Caravan driven by a 26-year-old man. According to a news release issued by the California Highway Patrol, traffic had slowed in that area, but the 2014 Caravan was traveling faster than was safe for road conditions at the time.

The Dodge hit the Mercury, which was driven by the teen's 45-year-old grandmother, and the impact sent their car into a 1999 Lexus driven by a 29-year-old woman from Stockton. At this point, the Mercury burst into flames, and the teenager was killed. Her grandmother was flown by helicopter to Sacramento's UC Davis Medical Center for treatment of major injuries.

The female driver of the Lexus sustained minor injuries, while a 10-year-old girl in her car received moderate injuries and was transported to a hospital in San Joaquin County. The driver of the Dodge Caravan and a male passenger both suffered minor injuries. CHP continues to investigate the collision. Reports suggest that they have not found any evidence of alcohol or drugs being involved in the incident.

When auto accidents occur because of an individual's careless or reckless handling of an automobile, a court may find cause to award the victim's family compensation for the death of their loved one. However, in order to pursue that compensation, the plaintiff may need to present a case that demonstrates the defendant's liability for damages. This process may be made easier if the plaintiff retains the services of a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer might be able to review the relevant police reports and witness statements for information that might support a client's case.

Source: The Modesto Bee, "Johansen High School student killed in fiery crash in Manteca", Patty Guerra , September 15, 2014

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