On a recent Tuesday night, five friends were heading westbound on California Highway 138 with no idea what was about to happen to them. Out of nowhere, a dump truck slammed into their vehicle. Three of the five teens miraculously survived the dump truck accident. Nevertheless, the other two lost their lives in the tragic accident.
Preliminary reports indicate that a mechanical issue with the brakes caused the dump truck to careen out of control as it exited the southbound 15 Freeway. That is when it crashed into the vehicle carrying the teens. By the time both vehicles came to a stop, the car was underneath the dump truck, which was carrying wet cement.
It took upwards of two hours for firefighters to get to the injured teens to pull them out of the wreckage. It took two tow trucks designed to handle heavy loads to get the dump truck off the car so firefighters could use the Jaws of Life to get to the victims. When they finally freed them, two of the teens had already succumbed to their injuries.
Two others suffered critical injuries, though their current conditions are not known. The fifth teen miraculously suffered only minor injuries according to a video interview with the teen. The driver of the dump truck reportedly did not suffer any injuries in the crash.
In the midst of investigations and candlelight vigils, the families of the two deceased teens are grieving for their loss, and the two critically injured teens fight for their lives. The families of the deceased teens retain the right to file wrongful death claims against the driver and her employer in connection with this heartbreaking truck accident. The two injured victims may file personal injury claims as well. Successful civil actions could result in damages typically awarded under California law in these types of accidents.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Candlelight Vigil Held for Teens in Deadly Crash", Samia Khan and Jacob Rascon, June 25, 2014