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King City, California

A seven-car accident caused by an alleged drunk driver killed three people on Wednesday. The crashed occured on Highway 101 at about 8:45 PM when a southbound driver, took her eyes off the road to pick up her cell phone, and crossed over into the northbound lanes. Her Ford Explorer then struck a Volkswagen killing 3 of the occupants and seriously injuring the remaining one. The Volkswagen then hit a Toyata, sending the driver, a resident of Napa, to the hospital with moderate injuries. At least 4 other vehicles became involved in the accident, as the drivers swerved to avoid it, or hit debris.

The driver that caused the accident, Vivian R Ramirez 42, of Gonzales, has been charged with felony gross vehicular manslaughter and felony suspicion of driving under the influence. She sustained major injuries as a result of the crash, possibly including a broken neck.

Maria Ochoa, 53, of Pleasanton, Rafael Zambrano Llamas, 37, and another passenger, Graciela Hernandez Llamas, 39, died as a result of the accident. The were all returning from a funeral in King city. The fourth occupant of the Volkswagen, Maria Guadalupe Vargas-Manzo, 37, was hospitalized with major injuries.

A wrongful death caused by a drunk driver can be extremely difficult for the surviving family members. At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley, we represent clients who have lost loved ones due to others negligence. With nearly 50 years of litigation and trial experience, we are not afraid to take anyone to trial that has wrongfully caused the death of your loved one, spouse, child, or family member. While most cases involving wrongful death settle out of court, when bringing a wrongful death suit to court, we work closely with our clients to present a full picture of the loss that surviving family members have suffered. We work to make sure you and your loved ones are receive the Fair Compensation that you are entitled too. That compensation will include present and future wages, medical expenses, and funeral costs, but it will also include loss of love, guidance and companionship, moral support, and financial support.

(Source: Pleasanton Weekly)

Two Amtrak trains collided at the Jack London Square station in Oakland Wednesday evening leaving up to 18 people injured. The crash occured after one Amtrak train carrying passengers ran a red light and struck a second train that was stopped and unloading passengers. The moving train was travelling at approximately 15 to 20 miles per hour when it struck the second train, according to reports.

Most of the injured passengers were aboard the stopped train. Although there were no life-threatening injuries reported, several people were taken to local hospitals. Both trains remained upright after the train crash, although one of the locomotives slightly derailed and damaged the pedestrian platform at the station.

The accident occurred at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, and service at the station remained suspended as of Thursday morning.

This is the second incident in two weeks in which Amtrak passengers were injured in the Bay Area. On Sept. 30, 37 passengers and two crew members were injured when an Amtrak train hit a truck at a crossing near Brentwood where there were no signal lights or gates.

Passengers involved in train accidents can sustain serious injuries that can have long term health implications. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a train accident and would like to speak with a train accident attorney, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. The attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley are well known and respected throughout the legal community and among our clients.

At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley we have nearly 45 years of litigation and trial experience. We have the expertise and a proven track record of success. From our offices in Contra Contra Costa County, San Francisco and Sacramento, we serve clients throughout Northern California. Our experience and expertise are available to you.

(Sources: LA Times, Mercury News, CBS)

23-year-old Abby Nichols was struck by an AC Transit bus in November or 2008 while in an Oakland crosswalk. Nichols was trapped under the bus for more than 15 minutes because the bus driver failed to activate a hydraulic device to free her. She suffered a crushed hip and a broken pelvis and femur resulting in nerve damage. She must now walk with a cane.

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, the agency whose bus struck Nichols, agreed to pay a $10.5 million settlement in the case, just as a jury was being seated. A spokesman for AC Transit admitted the driver of the bus was at fault. The driver has been fired. The question remains why the bus driver failed to operate the hydraulic device that could have freed the victim of the accident.

When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, the injuries can be catastrophic. Such an injury can affect a person’s neurological system, skeletal system, or muscular system. Over the course of a person’s life, medical needs change. People who were injured as children may need to undergo surgery or treatment as an adult due to past injuries.  In addition, there are long-term consequences the entire family will face as a result of the catastrophic injury.

The attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley work with medical professionals, vocational rehabilitation experts, and financial planners to determine all of the effects of catastrophic injuries.  We have the skill and experience to ensure that individuals and their families receive the financial support necessary to help them move forward with their lives.

At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley we have over 45 years of litigation experience. We have the expertise and a proven track record of success. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a catastrophic injury and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

(Source: SF Gate)

A Tracy couple was injured when their motorcycle was hit as it approached the intersection of Highway 33 at Durham Ferry Road in Tracy. A pickup truck driven by a 42-year-old Antioch woman had been stopped at a stop sign, but as the motorcycle crossed the intersection, the pickup proceeded into the intersection, failing to yield the right-of-way. The pickup then struck the motorcycle.

56 year old Donald Hufford and his 51-year-old wife, Christine, sustained broken right legs and were transported to different hospitals for their injuries. The wife was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Modesto, while her husband was taken by ambulance to San Joaquin General Hospital.

The driver of the pickup was uninjured, and no charges were filed against her, although her failure to yield right-of-way to the motorcycle caused the injury accident.

Any motorcycle rider who shares the road with cars and trucks knows the importance of defensive driving. But some motorcycle accidents cannot be avoided, regardless of the care and skill demonstrated by a motorcyclist. Motorcycles can be a useful and enjoyable means of transportation but, they can also be incredibly dangerous. Motorcycles have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance travelled when compared with automobiles. According to the US Highway Safety Authority, in 2002, 20.9 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes. The rate for motorcycles is 66.7 per 100,000.

At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley we represent people who have suffered serious injuries as a result of others negligence on California’s roads and highways. To a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer the injuries that can result from motorcycle accidents are routinely catastrophic; including, brain and spinal cord injuries; fractures; abrasions; internal and soft tissue injuries; and severe burn injuries.

The attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley are well known and respected throughout the legal community and among our clients. From our offices in Contra Costa County, San Francsico and Sacramento, we serve clients throughout Northern California. Our experience and expertise are available to you.

(Source: Tracy Press)

On November 20, 2008 David Wheeler was crossing the Lower Great Highway near Ocean Beach in San Francisco on his bicycle when he was hit by a Muni bus. The bus driver, Roy Timmons, failed to stop before turning left onto the highway from Noriega Avenue, according to documents filed by his attorney in San Francisco Superior Court. The documents indicate that the bus driver also:

    • Sped up during the maneuver
    • Failed to use his blinker
    • Cut his turn short, crossing into the southbound lane of the Great Highway


At that point he struck Wheeler, who was crossing the street from a nearby bike path.

The extent of Wheeler's injuries from the 2008 accident are unknown, but the June 2011 settlement indicated that he is under conservatorship which likely means that he is incapable of making legal or medical decisions for himself. That also suggests that Wheeler may have suffered traumatic brain injury from the 2008 accident.

According to The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, the $5.36 million settlement is the second highest paid out by the Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, since 1995. In 2008, the agency approved a $21 million settlement to the family of a three-year-old girl who was struck and killed by an MTA employee driving a maintenance truck. The following year the agency took out a catastrophic insurance policy to cover accident awards ranging from $5 to $25 million dollars, however both accidents occurred before the policy was enacted, and are therefore not covered.

When a bicyclist is hit by a motor vehicle, the potential for serious injury or even death is significant. Although cycling accounts for less than 1% of all trips in this country, bicycle deaths make up 2% of total traffic deaths. Factors such as driver inattention and poorly maintained roads can be deadly to even the most experienced bicyclist.

At O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley we represent people who have suffered serious injuries as a result of others negligence on California’s roads and highways. The injuries that can result from an accident involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle are often catastrophic; including, brain and spinal cord injuries; fractures; abrasions; and internal and soft tissue injuries.

The attorneys at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley work with medical professionals, vocational rehabilitation experts, and financial planners to determine all of the effects of serious injuries. We have the skill and experience to ensure that individuals and their families receive the financial support necessary to help them move forward with their lives.

Because bicycle accident cases can be very complex, you need an experienced and aggressive bicycle accident lawyer to successfully handle them.  The attorneys at O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley have the necessary experience. With over 45 years of trial experience we are not afraid to take anyone to trial that has wrongfully injured one of our clients.

The attorneys at O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley are well known and respected throughout the legal community and among our clients. From our offices in Contra Costa County, San Francsico and Sacramento, we serve clients throughout Northern California. Our experience and expertise are available to you.

(Source: SF Examiner)