These articles provide information on injury accidents in the Contra Costa County and the wider San Francisco Bay Area, as well as information on the legal rights of those who have been injured in an accident.
Our goal is to help our readers stay informed about accidents in their community and to understand their legal options if they have been injured. We also hope to raise awareness about the importance of safety and to encourage people to take precautions to avoid accidents.
A 20-year-old woman, identified as Angela Fierro from Antioch, was killed on Thursday when the black Jeep Grand Cherokee she was in rolled over as the result of a collision with another vehicle. Fierro was ejected from the vehicle and died as a result of her injuries. She was reportedly pregnant.
The accident occured at 4:50 PM at the intersection of Lone Tree Way and Clayburn Road in Antioch. Residents report there are accidents at that intersection on a weekly basis.
On Wednesday, an accident involving a vehicle and a parked public works truck left a driver seriously injured. The collision occurred at approximately 8:30 AM on Ygnacio Valley Road between Oak Grove and Cowell. The vehicle was travelling eastbound when it collided with the parked vehicle as the public works crew was working on road improvements. The driver was seriously injured in the collision and was rushed to the hospital. The accident caused a temporary road closure as the police investigated the accident. No other injuries were reported and the road was reopened 3 hours later.
According to the California Highway Patrol, this powerful head-on collision resulted in “catastrophic damage.”
The California Highway Patrol has reported that two people have died so far, and five others were badly hurt in an apparent wrong-way crash that occurred in the early hours of the morning last Sunday, not far from Orinda.
Although the investigation is still in the early stages, it is suspected that the male driving a Saturn Vue was traveling east in the westbound lanes of Highway 24 between Fish Ranch Rd. and Wilder Rd. when his vehicle crashed head-on into the Toyota Camry, the CHP reported.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The family of the driver who lost his life in a Santa Clara County car crash filed a lawsuit against Tesla on Wednesday. The lawsuit claims that Tesla is beta testing autopilot technology on open roadways in California.
The man who was killed was riding in his Tesla, which was on autopilot at the time of the crash. His family is suing the car manufacturer and others for wrongful death.
The lawsuit is not only against Tesla, but it could also include subcontractors who helped design and build the autopilot system on Tesla’s Model X.
Walter Huang was killed in March 2018 when his 2017 Tesla Model X smashed into a barrier on Hwy.101 in the city of Mountain View while it was on autopilot.
His grieving wife Sevonne Huang told the press that this Tesla was her husband’s dream car.
“I gave the car to him for his birthday,” she said.
The family is convinced that the autopilot system is defective and probably the cause of Huang’s death.
Mark Fong, the family’s lawyer, said, “The car moved out of a safe lane, headed directly towards a solid concrete barrier while accelerating nearly 10 miles an hour in 3 seconds.”
Family members claim that Huang complained about the car constantly veering towards the same barrier at the very same location where the crash occurred. They also said that he took his car to the dealership a number of times to tell them about the malfunctioning autopilot.
The lawsuit is being filed on the grounds of defective product design along with intentional misrepresentation.
The company released a statement soon after the crash that said, “The driver took no evasive action even though he had a 5-second view of the divider before crashing into it.” The company went on to say, “Mr. Huang had received both visual and audible hands-on warnings earlier while driving and his hands were not on the steering wheel for a full 6 seconds before colliding into the barrier.”
Attorney Doris Cheng said, “Attempting to put the blame on Mr. Huang by suggesting that it was up to him to figure out what was wrong with his Tesla, is very unfair.”
The family also filed a lawsuit against the State of California, claiming that the highway median had no protective crash guard, which could have possibly prevented the death.
The lawsuit is for monetary damages, as yet unspecified.
Huang’s wife said, “I’m doing this so that other families don’t suffer through the same experience.”
The NTSB has not yet released the final report of its investigation into the accident. When asked, a Tesla representative declined to comment on the lawsuit.
A number of other Tesla drivers have lodged complaints and filed lawsuits against Tesla for autopilot errors.
The autopilot feature is one of Tesla’s most popular features because it is supposed to take over other functions, like steering, braking, changing lanes and speed.
Last year a Tesla driver whose car was on autopilot fell asleep while the car kept driving all on its own. Eventually CHP officers boxed the Tesla in with their cars, slowing it down until it stopped. They then arrested the driver when he couldn’t pass the field sobriety test.
Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP
PITTSBURG, CA – A 46-year-old woman from Discovery Bay was tragically killed Wednesday on Highway 4 in eastern Contra Costa County while “driving in safe and lawful manner.” Another car plowed into hers, which then set off a wreck involving seven cars, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Theresa Frazer was pronounced dead at the scene, while four others, including a small child, were transported to the hospital. The collision occurred on westbound Hwy. 4 right after 8 a.m. not far from the Railroad Ave. and Harbor Rd. exits, reported CHP Officer Brandon Correia.
This accident occurred soon after another two-car collision in the immediate area that involved a Dodge sedan and a motorcyclist. No one was hurt in that accident, but it did worsen traffic on the crowded highway.
Seeing the traffic ahead, Frazier had slowed down to a stop in her Nissan Sentra, however the Chevy Tahoe SUV behind her did not and just crashed into her car, Correia said.
“Here this woman is doing exactly as she should,” he said. “She sees traffic, slows down and stops. The SUV for some reason doesn’t stop. Our investigation will seek to determine whether it was speeding. That is what we are focusing on. When a car gets plowed into from behind in that manner, it causes a huge impact.”
The SUV then went on to sideswipe a Dodge truck and crashed into an Audi sedan before it flipped over and slid into a couple of other vehicles on the highway. The occupants of the two last cars, a Chevy Trailblazer and a Toyota Highlander, were among the three treated at the scene and released. The Chevy Tahoe finally came to a stop when it slid into a Honda Civic.
A passenger riding in the Nissan Sentra did suffer major injuries, but they weren’t thought to be life threatening and he was transported to a local hospital, Correia said.
The man and woman who were in the SUV were also severely injured and transported by ambulance to a local hospital, Correia said. Fortunately, they are both expected to live.
Their son was also taken by ambulance to the hospital as a precautionary measure since he did not appear injured, Correia said. Initially, officials said that there were five people hospitalized.
The westbound lanes on Highway 4 in the vicinity of the crash were all closed except for the far left lane. This lasted nearly three hours and a Sig Alert was issued for major traffic. The CHP lifted the alert around 11:15 a.m. after the scene had been investigated and cleaned up.
Investigators have yet to figure out whether alcohol or drugs played a part in the collision, but they didn’t see any signs of them at the site, Correia said.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by another, you may be eligible to seek a remedy and payment. Protect your rights, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer. When you call the law offices of O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley, you will be talking with an attorney who has spoken with hundreds of people in your similar circumstance. You will be treated with the respect and sympathy you need during your time of heartbreak and anguish.
RICHMOND, CA – A female passenger in a vehicle that crashed while exiting the I-80 off-ramp passed away Sunday morning as a result of her injuries. The driver was arrested and is being held on suspicion of driving while under the influence, according to a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol. CHP Officers arrived on the scene of the accident at 11:30 p.m., which was in close proximity to the Cutting Blvd. off-ramp from Highway 80 westbound. Officers responding came upon an overturned 2003 Lexus sedan.
The passenger, whose name is not being released at this time, was fully ejected from the vehicle, according to Officer Sean Wilkenfield of the CHP. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital, where she ultimately died as a result of her injuries.
Accident investigators concluded that she had not been wearing a seatbelt when the crash occurred, Wilkenfeld said.
Twenty-one year old Lexus Taylor, the driver, was also taken to the hospital after suffering major injuries in the accident, where officers determined that she was drunk. Taylor was put under arrest, but remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Vehicular manslaughter occurs when an individual recklessly causes the death of another person through the use of any type of motor vehicle. If you or a family member has been victimized by motor vehicle negligence and need to consult with an auto accident attorney located in the Bay Area, please reach out to us. We are available to answer any questions you have, advise you of your legal rights and how best to protect them. We at O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley have more than 50 years of experience handling the litigation and going to trial representing victims of auto accidents. We have the right expertise along with a proven track record of prevailing in auto accident and wrongful death cases.
Oakland, CA – On December 2, 2016 at around 11:20 p.m. the Ghost Ship warehouse in the Fruitvale community of Oakland, California became engulfed in flames. The Ghost Ship had been illegally converted into residential units, ultimately becoming a well-known artist collective. At the time the fire broke out there was an unpermitted concert being held by 100% Silk, a popular record label.
Tragically, 36 people lost their lives in the fire, which was the deadliest ever in the city of Oakland. In fact, it was the deadliest commercial building fire in the U.S. since the nightclub fire at The Station in 2003, the deadliest fire in California since the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and the deadliest event in Oakland since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
Concertgoers desperate to escape the fire were slowed down due to a very narrow staircase, a difficult path impeded by an array of large objects and furniture.
The concert was being held in a space frequently occupied by underground musicians. At the time of the fire, the crowd was enjoying a performance by electronic musicians.
Survivors described suddenly being engulfed in a blast of heat and smoke and crawling to the only way out, which was a narrow makeshift staircase located near the dance floor.
Derick Almena, the leaseholder of the warehouse, who rented units out to others, lived in the area with his family, a wife and three kids. They happened to be staying at a hotel that night.
According to resident Carmen Brito, the front stairway was only a ramp in certain places, with two very sharp turns onto two small landings, with one she described as being a large pallet.
The Ghost Ship did have a back staircase, but no one knows if anyone used it when fleeing. If it had been used, the people wouldn’t have been anywhere near an exit.
Ms. Brito said she saw the fire starting near her loft. Fire investigators believe the fire started in the back of the warehouse.
The real question is why more people weren’t able to escape. Omar Vega, who owns the auto shop next door, said that the residents themselves built the front stairway. He said there used to be a conveyor belt in that spot when the building was actually a functioning warehouse.
No Direct Path From Stairway to Exit
People rushing down the front stairway would have found themselves in the communal living room of the warehouse, an area with no direct path to get out the front door.
To get to the front door one would have to take two sharp left turns and a right around three pianos before seeing the door and finding safety on the street.
Survivors said they were confused crawling on the floor trying to escape the thick smoke, while looking for the door. Fortunately, someone kept shouting the location of the door, which helped to save a lot of lives.
Ms. Brito described the path from the staircase to safety as being a maze. “I myself got lost the first time I tried to find my way to the door,” she said.
There were only a few interior walls in the building. Sleeping lofts and working areas were partitioned off with window sashes, furniture and pallets that one visitor described as forming a “tinderbox.”
Pianos and organs were placed all over the warehouse. Ms. Brito described how hard it was for someone who wasn’t familiar with the Ghost Ship to find the exit, even in the best of conditions. Survivors who spoke to reporters described how hard it was to navigate the twists and turns of just getting to the stairs, the difficulty getting down them and finding a way out.
A property owner can be held liable (legally responsible) for accidents, injuries and deaths that befall a tenant or visitor to his or her property if it is proved that negligence on the owner’s part caused the accident, injury or death.
We at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley have more than 50 years of experience handling all forms of litigation. We have an outstanding record of success representing our clients. If you or someone you love has suffered injury or death due to premises liability and would like to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney in the Bay Area, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and how you can protect them.
SAN RAMON, CA – A little 3-year-old boy tragically died Friday night after his family’s car was struck from behind on Interstate 680 when it was out of gas and parked on the shoulder. The California Highway Patrol said a suspected drunk driver was driving the SUV that crashed into the family’s Toyota Camry.
The CHP identified the boy who was killed as Elijah Dunn of San Ramon. He was airlifted from the scene of the accident and taken to Children’s Hospital in Oakland, where he died of his injuries.
Elijah’s mother, 11year-old brother and 1-year-old sister were also in the car and were taken to hospitals after the accident. His mother suffered major injuries while his siblings were injured less severely, according to authorities.
Elijah was enrolled at Karina’s Daycare & Preschool in San Ramon, said the daycare’s owner, Karina Jimenez who described him as being a mellow, sweet child who was very loveable.
“It was absolutely devastating for us when we heard he hadn’t survived,” she added.
He was getting ready to celebrate his birthday on September 26th and was so excited. She said that everyone loved Elijah and that he came from a wonderful family. She said she’d spoken with the toddler’s grandmother, who relayed that the family was grieving and requested privacy at this difficult time.
Yarenit Malihan, 38, of Pleasanton was driving the SUV at the time of the accident and was arrested on suspicion of DUI as well as gross vehicular manslaughter, both felonies, the CHP reported on Saturday. Malihan was taken to San Ramon Medical Center to be treated for her injuries and then she was transported to the Contra Costa County detention facility in Martinez.
Malihan has the same Pleasanton home address as an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy, and it is believed that they are husband and wife, according to CBS News.
The crash happened around 6:20 p.m. Friday evening during rush hour on northbound I-680 in the vicinity of the Bollinger Canyon exit, clogging traffic for over two hours.
The family had pulled over to the right onto the shoulder, waiting for someone to bring gas, according to John Fransen, a spokesperson for the CHP.
It initially appears that the mother took all the safety measures appropriate for the situation by pulling over to the far right and having everyone remain in the car while they waited for help to arrive, Fransen said. A sound wall along the freeway prevented them from pulling further to the right and away from the traffic lanes.
“It looks like the mother and children in the Camry were wearing seat belts and the smaller children were buckled into child safety seats,” the CHP wrote Saturday in a post on Facebook.
There are no prior DUI convictions on Malihan’s record, according to the CHP. She was driving under a valid driver’s license at the time of the accident.
The rear of the Camry was mostly mangled after being struck by the Toyota Sequoia SUV, which was traveling at an unknown speed, according to accident investigators.
Paramedics transported Elijah, his 11-year-old brother and 1-year-old sister to Children’s Hospital in Oakland, while their mother was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. The mother sustained a number of injuries in the crash, including a broken back and ribs.
Experiencing the death of a loved one is an extremely difficult time and we understand that nothing can truly compensate you for the loss of your loved one. However,if you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by another, you may be eligible to seek a remedy and payment. Protect your rights by contacting an experienced Wrongful Death Attorney as soon as possible. When you call the law offices of O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley, you will be talking with an attorney who has spoken with hundreds of people in your similar circumstance. You will be treated with the respect and sympathy you need during your time of heartbreak and anguish.
ANTIOCH, CA – Monday evening a 49-year-old woman from Oakley died from injuries sustained in a multivehicle collision on eastbound Highway 4, according to police. The California Highway Patrol said the fatal accident occurred during the evening commute, just west of Somersville Rd., with the 911 call coming in at 5:46 p.m.
CASTRO VALLEY, CA – The California Highway Patrol reported that two men from Pittsburg were killed while a woman was severely injured in a multivehicle collision that occurred on Friday night on Crow Canyon Road near the intersection of Norris Canyon Road.
Samone Gatlin, 33 and Jamil Numan, 36, both residents of Pittsburg, were fatally injured in the crash and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the County of Alameda Coroner’s Office.
The accident was reported to authorities at 8:47 p.m. and happened on Crow Canyon Road slightly south of the intersection of North Canyon Road, according to Dan Jacowitz, a CHP Officer assigned to the Castro Valley CHP.
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