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Deadly wrong-way car crash in California

California residents may have read about a car accident that occurred in Fremont involving a wrong way driver on Interstate Highway 880. On Feb. 6, witnesses called the CHP around 12:30 a.m. to report that a car was going north in the southbound lanes. Within four minutes, another caller reported an accident.

A 1999 Volvo collided head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with three passengers who suffered major injuries. Upon arrival, officers found the Volvo engulfed in flames and were not able to extricate the woman driving it, identified as a 22-year-old woman from Santa Clara. She died as a result of the accident and fire. The accident remains under investigation as authorities gather evidence and wait for toxicology results to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.

In 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board issued findings and recommendations from a special investigation regarding wrong-way driving accidents. The NTSB was prompted to perform the studies because even though wrong-way accidents on divided highways occur only 3 percent of the time, the likelihood of fatalities and serious injuries are very high compared to other types of collisions. In California, the California Department of Transportation determined that the fatality rate was 12 times greater than other accidents on controlled-access highways.

Wrong-way driving accidents require investigative personnel to determine causes and contributing factors, such as driver impairment, highway design and adequate signage of the on- and off-ramps. A victim considering legal action to recover damages may find assistance from a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer and his staff will assemble all the evidence available from law enforcement agencies, hospitals, witnesses and insurance companies to construct a case for legal remedies and awards.

Source: KGO-TV, "Wrong-way driver dies in crash on I-880 in Fremont," Feb. 6, 2015

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