SANDAG officials will tell you that Highway 67 is not the most dangerous highway in San Diego County. In fact, the windy, mostly two-laned road from Lakeside to Ramona ranks 17th in priority of roads in the county in need of improvements according to SANDAG. Tell that to the numerous individuals who have been seriously injured on the road, or who, as stated by the San Diego Union Tribune, “completed their trips in a hearse.”
In 2007, Supervisor Diane Jacob called a transportation summit to address concerns about the road. There were 46 recorded deaths on the road from 1998 to 2008, and in the last decade, there have been numerous lawsuits against the State of California for defects in the road. Those lawsuits argued, many successfully, that the road constitutes a “dangerous condition” and that state must address.
Attorney Ben Bunn has represented many families in cases involving the 67, and he’ll tell you first hand how dangerous the road is. In a letter published by the San Diego Union Tribune last year, Bunn argued strongly that the road is unreasonably dangerous, that the fatality rates exceed the state average, and that the many injuries and deaths on the road are preventable with some alterations to the road. (Read it here .pdf)
The San Diego Union Tribune has also weighed in. It ran a series of editorials critical of SANDAG and the slow government response to the obviously risky road. The UT editorials followed a high profile incident where a young mother, Alexandria Drake, was killed in March of 2009. But while the attention has subsided, the injuries and deaths continue. (Just Google “Highway 67 Accident.”) The most recent being Bridgette Hale a young mother who died on the road in January when a driver fell asleep and drifted into oncoming lanes. And more recently, a head-on crash that occurred yesterday, injuring three people.
Until there are major changes to the road, there are going to be very serious automobile accidents, and more innocent lives lost.
The accident and injury lawyers at Walton Law Firm represent individuals and families who have been impacted by personal injury accidents, including auto accidents, worksite injuries, pedestrian injuries, construction accidents, property injuries, and malpractice matters. Call (760) 571-5500 for a free consultation.