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OAKLAND, CA – A surveillance camera picked up the horrific sight of a car slamming into three innocent children in Oakland crossing the street using the crosswalk. Neighborhood residents are demanding changes.

The footage clearly shows the collision sending two teenaged girls into the air, while the little boy that was crossing with them is pulled under the car and dragged.

The accident occurred on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at about 9:30 p.m. in the intersection of Brookdale and Fruitvale Avenues in Oakland.

Residents in the neighborhood report similar accidents happening in the past. They are calling for the city to install blinking lights in the crosswalk.

It is painful to watch the video of the accident. It shows the car being driven by a young person hitting the children as they crossed the street in the crosswalk, causing the girls to fly into the air and the toddler being pinned under the car.

The accident occurred right outside Mark Legaspi’s Filipino restaurant, so his surveillance cameras videotaped the whole tragic event. 

Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian Accident


“Everyone was scrambling to help,” relayed Legaspi. “The baby was being dragged along under the car. Let’s save that baby!”

It was a miracle that all three kids survived this horrific accident.

One of the teenaged girls and her little brother, who were injured in the accident, are cousins of the other girl that was hit by the car. 

They were walking home the night of the accident. They were careful, looking both ways before entering the crosswalk and just assumed the car would come to a stop and let them cross.

Just before being hit, the girls could be seen bracing for impact.

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Legaspi reported that this is the third time pedestrians have been hit in the crosswalk in the last three years. This is not counting the number of car crashes that have occurred in the same intersection.

“Surprisingly, no one has been killed,” Legaspi said. “However, I’ve witnessed three pets getting run over and killed right here.”

He blames distracted drivers speeding through the interaction for the accidents. Legaspi did contact Noel Gallo, the City Councilman for this area, requesting something be done to make the crosswalk easier for drivers to see.

“They probably have to send people out to study the road because we have had so many accidents here,” said Gallo. “But this time I think it’s a no-brainer that something has to be done.”

Gallo said he heard that these three victims have already been released from the hospital and are recovering at home.

Witnesses described the driver as stopping at the scene of the accident and being remorseful. They said he carried a passport, so was obviously from another country, and admitted that he had not been issued a California driver’s license.

It has not yet been reported whether the driver did have a valid driver’s license or if the police placed him under arrest. 

At O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley we have 50 years of litigation and trial experience. We have the expertise and a proven track record of success in personal injury lawIf you or a loved one has been the victim of motor vehicle negligence and would like to speak with a Bay Area auto accident attorney, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

BRENTWOOD, CA – A woman, 72 and a 1-year-old were among 9 people transported to area hospitals when a stolen car going the wrong way plowed head-on into a van on Highway 4 in Brentwood, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said that the crash was called in just after 8 p.m. Saturday night. The accident occurred on Highway 4 right at Sand Creek Rd. in Brentwood.

Earlier that day, Concord police got a report that a gold 1994 Honda Accord was stolen. This was the car that was going the wrong way, speeding east on the westbound lanes of Hwy. 4, the CHP said in a statement issued on Sunday.   

The wrong-way car sped past a number of other vehicles before it crashed into a 2015 Honda Odyssey van driving westbound at Sand Creek Rd. carrying seven people, the CHP said.

Wrong Way Driver
Wrong Way Driver

CHP officials said that 9 people were taken to a local hospital. All occupants of the van were from San Francisco and transported to John Muir Medical Center, which is in Walnut Creek.

A 61-year-old woman suffered major injuries, but has since been stabilized. A 30-year-old driver was moderately injured. Four passengers sustained minor injuries: two girls, ages 10 and 2 and two women, ages 72 and 34. A baby just 1 year old appeared to have no injuries, but was transported to the hospital anyway as a precaution.

The Accord was carrying a 22-year-old passenger who suffered major injuries and was transported to Dublin’s Eden Hospital and is now in stable condition, according to the CHP.

The 24-year-old wrong-way driver was identified as Rafael Duarte of Oakley. He was treated at John Muir Medical Center for minor injuries before being arrested for alleged felony drunk driving, operating a vehicle without a license, possession of a stolen car, driving with no insurance, and going the wrong way on a highway, causing injury. He was booked at Martinez Detention Facility upon discharge from the hospital.

Each year in the United States, wrong-way driver crashes kill 300 to 400 people on average. This represents approximately 1% of the total annual number of traffic related fatalities. It may be a tiny percentage overall, but since crashes involving wrong-way drivers are usually head-on or high-speed sideswipes coming from the opposite direction, they tend to be a lot more serious than other types of collisions.

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Wrong Way collisions are inevitable when someone enters a freeway or controlled-access highway on an exit ramp going the wrong way, or when drivers make maneuvers that cause them to drive the wrong way or in the wrong direction. Collisions involving wrong-way drivers are definitely a problem on our highways. They may be infrequent, but the consequences for the people involved in these crashes are far more serious than those resulting from other types of traffic accidents.

If you or a family member has been in a traffic accident involving motor vehicle negligence and want to speak to a reputable Bay Area attorney who specializes in auto accidents, please contact O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley Attorneys at Law. We will answer all your questions, explain your legal rights and how best to protect them.

SAN PABLO, CA – A motorcyclist was killed Monday morning in a hit-and-run crash involving a big-rig travelling westbound on Interstate 80 in San Pablo. This was tragically the second fatal collision on the very same stretch of highway that day. The Contra Costa County Coroner was able to identify the victim.

Nicholas Brown, 35, from Fairfield, died in the collision, which was called in at 6:22 a.m. The accident happened on westbound Interstate 80 near El Portal Drive.

Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle Accident


CHP Officer Matt Hamer said the big-rig truck, which was described as being yellow with a white trailer in back, hit Brown while making an unsafe lane change. Brown then struck another car, and this caused him to be ejected off his motorcycle, throwing him onto the highway. Brown was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Witnesses observed the big-rig driver pulling over and remaining for about five minutes before driving off, Hamer said.

A big-rig matching the description was later pulled over by officers, but that truck is not thought to be the big-rig involved in the crash. Hamer said that the search is still on for the suspected vehicle.

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According to CHP officers, all lanes of the highway were reopened by 7:55 a.m.

Earlier that morning, in a separate crash on the same stretch of Interstate 80, Lindche Tran, 25 from Richmond was killed.

At approximately 4:05 a.m., Tran was driving along in a Honda Accord when suddenly it spun out of control, hitting the center median. The vehicle came to a stop facing the opposite direction and with lights out, Hamer said.

As Tran exited her car, a Dodge Charger was approaching and the driver could not avoid crashing into the Honda and Tran. She was pronounced deceased at the scene, said Hamer.

There were two occupants in the Dodge and both were transported to a local hospital suffering from minor injuries, Hamer said.

The highway remained shut down until about 6:10 a.m., which was less than 15 minutes prior to the collision that took Brown’s life.

Anyone who has information on either traffic accident is encouraged to phone the Oakland CHP Office at (510) 450-3821.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by another, you may be eligible to seek compensation. 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. Protect your rights, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer at O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP.

(Source: KGO)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

Suspect in collision released from jail just one day before the crash; mom and baby remain hospitalized.

The names of the two boys that were killed over the weekend in the Highway 4 crash have been identified. On Monday the authorities released their names as their three-month-old baby brother remained in the hospital fighting for his life.

Lorenzo Reyes, 10, and Vincent Rothenberg 5, both San Pablo residents, were riding in a Dodge Durango when they were ejected when an Infiniti FX flew off the Solano Way exit going westbound onto the adjacent on-ramp slamming into the Durango, according to California Highway Patrol authorities.  

The crash occurred a little before 11 p.m. Friday night. The Coroner’s office of Contra Costa County released the names on Monday. The boy’s 35-year-old mother was still being treated on Monday at Walnut Creek’s John Muir Medical Center for neck injuries. Their 3-month-old baby brother remained Monday at Oakland’s UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

Auto Accident Lawyer
Auto Accident

Lemuel Wilson, 35, from Oakland, is the one suspected of being behind the wheel of the Infiniti FX. He is now in custody, having been arrested for: suspicion of 2 counts of vehicular manslaughter, suspicion of 2 counts of hit-and-run that caused great bodily injury, as well as suspicion of 1 count of driving with a revoked or suspended license that caused great bodily injury.

Sgt. Ray Kelly, spokesman for Alameda County Sheriff’s Office on Monday evening confirmed that last week Wilson had been in jail facing charges involving misdemeanor battery, making criminal threats, and possession of ammunition while at Gale/Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton.

Wilson’s case was heard before a Fremont judge last Wednesday. The judge lowered his bail, which was $100,000, down to $10,000. The following day, Wilson posted his lowered bail and was released from custody. That was one day before the Highway 4 crash, according to Kelly.

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A GoFundMe account has been set up by one of the mother’s friends to cover funeral costs for her two boys. The goal is to raise $20,000.

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

(Source: East Bay Times)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP

SACRAMENTO, CA

In the US, Wrong Way Driving accidents result in an average of 300 to 400 deaths per year, speaking to around 1 percent of the aggregate number traffic fatalities that happen yearly. While this is a small overall percentage, because wrong way driving crashes include head-on or opposite direction sideswipe crashes at high speeds, they have a tendency to be more extreme than different sorts of accidents.

Wrong-way driving is a result of drivers making wrong way entries onto freeways or other controlled-access highways, or making mainline moves that bring about driving the wrong way/direction. Impacts from wrong-way drivers is a persistent issue on US roadways. Because the results of wrong-way driving accidents are a great deal more serious than different sorts of crashes, government traffic safety agencies consistently audit various access control measures. Typical measures include the design of on/exit ramp approaches and signage. The goal is to find potential changes or additions that will reduce wrong-way entries.

Furthermore, they look to investigate the potential advantages of detecting wrong way driving incidents, and providing quick warnings to the wrong way driver, to relevant authorities, and to other drivers in the immediate area. In Sacramento and San Diego, they are testing just such a system, with positive results.

It was immediately obvious that a car was heading the wrong way as it entered an off-ramp of a highway in West Sacramento. It occurred on the 5th and Bridge St. exit ramp of Highway 50, which is across from the home of Egor Mikhayloeskiy. He’s witnessed too many near-accidents caused by wrong-way drivers. Mikhayloeskiy reported, “I see drivers doing this several times a day.”

Wrong Way Driving

Many visitors to the Bay Area use the exit on 5th and Bridge St. on their way to Raley Field to see the Rivercats, the Giants’ AAA team, play.  But that particular off-ramp is very often mistaken for an on-ramp. “I always see cars from all directions honking at drivers heading onto the off-ramp, trying to warn them not to go there,” said Mikhayloeskiy. That’s why the California Highway Patrol has partnered with Caltrans in a trial program to prevent accidents caused by wrong-way drivers.

The program is being tried out in Sacramento and areas of San Diego to start with. The 5th and Bridge St. off-ramp in Sacramento is among 17 spots along Highway 50 that are included in the project, said Gilbert Mohtes-Chan, spokesperson for Caltrans. “These countermeasures are our latest attempt to aggressively combat the serious problem posed by wrong-way driving,” he said. There are huge “Do not enter” signs posted on the off-ramp, along with bright red reflectors warning drivers that they are going the wrong way. “We are trying to get drivers to self-correct so they turn their car around on the off-ramp and drive back off,” said Mike Sheets, a CHP Officer.

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Additional countermeasures have been taken on six off-ramps by equipping them with a specialized radar system run on solar power. When the system’s sensors detect a vehicle driving the wrong way, it sets off a series of warnings: the signs start flashing LED lights, video cameras start operating and the vehicle’s license plates are captured, plus a loud alarm goes off on highway patrol cell phones and computers at Rancho Cordova’s Traffic Management Center.

“Every second counts when you have a wrong-way driver,” Officer Sheets explained. “We need to get there as fast as possible so we can stop this driver.” The project, which is slated to run for two years, just began in January. Since then it’s detected 2 wrong-way drivers. One suffered a minor crash. The driver was subsequently arrested for DUI, according to Sheets.  

The second driver heeded the warnings at 5th and Bridge St., and turned the car around before entering the highway going the wrong way. So, the system worked as planned. “It seems to be working well so far,” Officer Sheets exclaimed.

The wrong-way driver that we saw stopped after spotting the warning signs. A police officer driving by helped guide the car off the ramp. “Drivers suddenly realize now that they’re going the wrong way and turn around on their own,” Mikhayloeskiy said.

wrong way driving

“As a result of these safety measures, I’m not seeing wrong-way drivers entering the highway on the off-ramp like I used to,” Mikhayloeskiy said. 

O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP is a law firm serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Our attorneys represent clients in a wide array of serious personal injury claims. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys possess the specialized knowledge needed to win maximum compensation in complex cases. 

(Source: CBS)

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP