Fatal Distracted Driving Accident in San Diego

Truck Crash Kills Mother of Four
The Shelltown community in San Diego suffered a shocking loss last week after a truck accident killed a mother of four and two young children, according to a report in NBC San Diego. A San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) company utility truck driver “plowed into” Anna Herrera Rodriguez, 39, her 5-year-old daughter, and a 4-year-old neighbor. Police investigators at the scene confirmed that the driver had been distracted at the time of the auto accident. This tragic accident confirms that distracted driving and drowsy driving can have life-altering repercussions. No charges have yet been filed, but “the investigation is ongoing, and police said they do plan to pursue charges in this case,” according to NBC San Diego.

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What happened at the scene of the crash? The accident occurred on a Wednesday morning as Herrera was walking the two children to Balboa Elementary School. After the vehicle hit the pedestrians, Rodriguez was pinned under the utility truck. Her 11-year-old son reported that “he walked out of his home moments after the crash only to see his mother critically injured on the ground.” Neighbors heard screaming and described a “horrible scene” in the aftermath of the accident. Several neighbors actually rushed to the scene and lifted the truck from Rodriguez, but she died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

The 4-year-old girl involved in the accident sustained injuries to her chest and leg, and she was taken to a nearby hospital. She was later released and is at home with her family. Rodriguez’s 5-year-old daughter sustained severe injuries in the crash, including liver damage and a fractured pelvis. She was transported to Rady Children’s Hospital where she is still undergoing treatment.

Community members reported that Rodriguez pushed the two girls out of the way in the moments before the collision, sacrificing her life to save theirs. SDG&E issued a statement acknowledging that the driver had been on duty while driving a company vehicle, and emphasizing that it would be “cooperating fully with authorities.”

Distracted Driving Dangers

This isn’t the first accident involved a distracted driver of an SDG&E truck. In fact, NBC San Diego ran a story earlier this month about a fatal hit and run accident on January 6th in El Cajon. An SDG&E driver, Hector Hoyt, was involved in the crash that killed 54-year-old Robert Fisher. According to authorities in that case, Hoyt’s truck struck the victim when he was crossing the street at an intersection. The truck “immediately fled the scene, leaving the pedestrian lying in the middle of the street.” As a result, the victim was run over a second time by a car that didn’t see him in the road. The car occupants remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

Like the recent Rodriguez case, this accident remains under investigation. As such, we don’t know for certain the extent of the reckless driving involved in these accidents, but we do know that driving distractions can be extremely hazardous and even fatal.

Did you know that texting while driving means that your eyes are off the road for a total of 4.6 seconds? While that may not seem like a high number, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “at 55 MPH, that’s like driving an entire football field blindfolded.” The NHTSA reports that distracted driving “is a dangerous epidemic on American’s roadways.” In fact, more than 3,300 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2012. Cell phone use was involved in 18 percent of these accidents.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a distracted driving accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact the experienced San Diego accident lawyers at the Walton Law Firm. We can discuss your case with you today.

Photo Credit: Lord Jim via Compfight cc

See Related Blog Posts:
Drowsy Driving Accidents in California
Inclement Weather and Southern California Bus Crashes

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