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After they pulled over, the unthinkable happened -could it have been avoided?

It was a tragic scene recently when two mothers and four children died when their van caught fire after a crash on the 5 Freeway.

The six victims were in a minivan that was partially blocking the far-right lane on the southbound side of the freeway when it was rear-ended by a big rig traveling at 55 mph. The minivan rolled over and caught fire on the side of the road at about 3:30 a.m. Authorities said the van was packed with two Bay Area families – two children and two parents each. When the van rolled over and burst into flames the children and their mothers were in the rear seats. The men sitting in the front tried to save them from the flames but were held back by CHP officers. The two survivors were identified as Aaron Hon Wing Ng, 34, of San Francisco and Wei Xiong Li, 45, of Daly City. Both men suffered serious burns to their arms from trying to rescue their loved ones, the CHP said.

Could this have been avoided? We may never know, however there are some safety rules to follow if your car ever breaks down on the freeway. This minivan got into a minor collision with a sedan. So, the family pulled over to the side of the road. This is at night and can make it hard to see – they were then struck by a big rig, causing the vehicle to roll down the hill in flames.

If your car breaks down on the freeway or you have to pull over for any reason, follow these safety rules to keep you and your family as safe as possible:

  • Do not try to flag down other vehicles, i.e., don’t solicit the help of passing motorists.
  • Raise the vehicle’s hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out the window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is needed.
  • Don’t stand behind or next to the vehicle.
  • If you are partially still on the road, exit your vehicle and stand as far away as possible in a safe location while waiting for help.
  • Pull over and out of traffic if possible. Even if all of the emergency lights are activated, some highway drivers do not pay close attention and could rear-end the disabled fleet vehicle, causing further damage or injury.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this tragic accident.

Buckle the kids up, it’s the law

California Law| ​Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4′ 9″ in height must be secured by a safety belt in the back seat. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12 years old, killing over 1,000 children each year.

Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself and your passengers in a crash.  It is extremely important to make sure all children riding in your car be properly secured before every trip. Thousands of children are injured or killed every year because their child passenger safety seats are not installed properly. Remember, most collisions occur within a mile of the home – so buckle your child in a safety seat for every trip, no matter how short.  – California Highway Patrol

Effective January 1, 2017 – Children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.  The child shall be secured in a manner that complies with the height and weight limits specified by the manufacturer of the car seat…

If you’re not confident of how to properly secure your child in a safety seat, contact your local CHP Area Office, and ask to speak with a child passenger safety technician. Click on this link to locate a local Area Office anywhere in California.

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We fight for your rights

If you have been in a serious accident caused by unsafe road conditions or the negligence of a government employee, you have the right to claim compensation for your medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, you must act quickly to protect your ability to obtain compensation. You have ONLY SIX MONTHS from the date of an accident to file notice that you intend to sue the government.

At Sariol Legal Center, we provide vigorous representation in cases involving unsafe road conditions, construction zone accidents and other mishaps caused by public employee negligence. Our firm is results oriented, and we act with determination to win for our clients. We represent clients in cases involving:

  • Faulty highway design
  • Construction zone accidents
  • Accidents caused by state, county and municipal vehicles
  • Poor placement of road signs, guardrails and median fixtures
  • Negligence by public employees
  • Other unsafe road conditions

For a free consultation with a California defective roadway accident attorney, contact Sariol Legal Center.

Obtaining Maximum Compensation

Frank Sariol, an experienced Orange County attorney representing car accident victims, will direct an aggressive legal effort on your behalf. Our firm will visit the site of the accident, and working with a professional accident reconstruction specialist, we will document how the accident happened and who was responsible. We will also identify all of your losses, seeking full and complete compensation for you.

Remember, you have only SIX MONTHS to file notice in a case involving dangerous road conditions or public employee negligence. Get legal help today.

Free Consultation With a Lawyer

Contact Sariol Legal Center for a free consultation about an accident on a public highway or street.

El abogado habla español.

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9 Facts About Driving Under the Influence

Did you know that Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and roughly 1/3 of these accidents involve alcohol or another substance. Via dosomething.org here are some facts about driving under the influence:

  1. Impairment is not reliant upon the type of alcohol consumed, rather the number of drinks over a certain period of time. Despite myths and misconceptions, coffee, a cold shower, or exercise will not make a person more sober; only time will.
  2. On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest.
  3. Every 51 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. That equates to 27 people every day. Offer to be your parents’ designated driver to ensure that everybody gets home safe.
  4. For drivers under 21, the U.S. has a No Tolerance policy that does not allow any alcohol to be in the blood system while behind the wheel. The consequences could include expensive fines, loss of license or jail.
  5. Someone is injured in a drunk driving incident every 120 seconds.
  6. Between 50 to 75% of the people who have had their licenses revoked due to driving under the influence drive illegally without their license.
  7. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and roughly 1/3 of these accidents involve alcohol or another substance.
  8. Since the early 1980s, alcohol-related traffic deaths per population have been cut in half with the greatest proportional declines among persons 16-20 years old.
  9. Kids and teens who get involved with alcohol at a young age are 7 times more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lives.

Have you been in an auto accident? Call us today at Sariol Legal Center for a free, no-obligation quote to see what compensation you can obtain | 1-866-800-9399

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What do you do if caught in a flash flood? El Nino may be coming, be prepared!

We have all been experiencing the great California drought, however, relief may be on its way. There is the possibility of powerful, drenching rainstorms and though this is good for our state, trouble may arise. The good news is we all have time to prepare and inform others of how to stay safe. Here are some tips if you find you are caught in a flash flood.

  • If you are in a low-lying area during a flood, get to higher ground quickly. Avoid canyons, washes or ditches that can channel swift water.
  • Do not attempt to cross flooded roads or streams on foot. The water may be flowing more rapidly than it appears, and it can take as little as six inches of water to knock an adult off their feet.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood dangers.
  • Never allow children to play near ditches and storm drains.
  • If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • If your car is swept into the water and submerged, DON’T PANIC! Stay calm and wait for the vehicle to fill with water. Once the vehicle is full, the doors will be able to open. Hold your breath and swim to the surface.
  • If you are swept into fast moving floodwater outside of your car, point your feet downstream. Always go over obstacles, never try to go under.
  • If you are stranded on something above the floodwater, such as a tree or building, stay put and wait for rescue. Do not enter the floodwater.
  • When help arrives, stay calm and follow the directions of the rescue team.

 

 

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11 Million Vehicles Affected By Volkswagen Recall

This year Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Volkswagen AG received notice from the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board informing VW that those agencies had determined that some of our 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI vehicles do not comply with applicable emissions regulations.

The vehicles included in the notifications include:

  • VW Jetta TDI (Model Years 2009 – 2015)
  • VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (Model Years 2009-2014)
  • VW Golf TDI (Model Years 2010-2015)
  • VW Golf SportWagen TDI (Model Year 2015)
  • VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (Model Years 2012-2015)
  • VW Passat TDI (Model Years 2012-2015)

As environmental protection and sustainability are among Volkswagen’s strategic corporate objectives, the Company takes this matter very seriously and is cooperating with the investigation.

“Volkswagen is committed to finding a remedy as soon as possible. We want to assure customers and owners of these models that their automobiles are safe to drive, and we are working to develop a remedy that will meet the expectations of the government agencies.”Michael Horn, President and CEO  – Volkswagen Group of America. “Owners of these vehicles do not need to take any action at this time. Once we have information regarding a remedy, consumers will be notified.”

VW stopped advertising their latest TDI models while they seek government approvals. To determine whether your vehicle has been affected by the 2.0L TDI emissions issue, enter your vin –> https://www.vwdieselinfo.com

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Fiat Chrysler Recalls: Here Are The Ram, Dodge, Chrysler Trucks And SUVs FCA Will Buy Back

As part of the record-setting $105 million settlement with U.S. regulators over recall lapses, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) NV says it will buy back hundreds of thousands of trucks and SUVs for steering and axle problems. Owners of affected vehicles have complained of monthslong waiting lists because of parts supply shortages.

FCA “has entered into a consent order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which resolves the issues raised by NHTSA with respect to FCA U.S.’s execution of 23 recall campaigns,” the company said in a statement Sunday announcing the agreement.

The NHTSA gave the company a “reasonable allowance for depreciation” on the price they’re willing to pay. A certain number of the following vehicles are eligible for the buyback program:

* 2008 to 2012 model-year Ram pickup trucks that have either steering problems or axle problems, or both.
* 2008 to 2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 super duty pickup trucks, for steering problems;
* 2009 to 2011 Dodge Dakota trucks, for axle problems;
* 2009 Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs, for an axle problem.

Read the full article at ibtimes.com

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This couples positive spin to a tragedy is very inspiring

Justice and Jeremy Stamper are planning their second wedding, since Justice can’t remember their first.

Just weeks after the duo were married, Justice was in a severe car accident that resulted in some memory loss, PEOPLE reports. Even though Justice has looked at photos and watched videos of the event, nothing has come back to her.

‘She Deserves Everything and More’

While on her way to her aunt’s house, Justice was making a left turn when a car rear-ended her at 50 m.p.h, pushing her and her car about 50 feet to the right side of the road.  As she began the slow process of her recovery, it took her about a month and a half to admit to Jeremy that she couldn’t remember their wedding day or the months leading up to it. Read the full article at people.com

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John Kerry Suffers Broken Leg in Bike Accident in France

Secretary of State John Kerry suffered a broken leg in a bike accident in France early Sunday.  The cycling accident occurred near Scionzier, France, about 25 miles from Geneva, where Kerry had been holding nuclear talks with Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif.

John Kerry’s U.S. surgeon is on his way to Switzerland to inspect the injury that the secretary of state sustained in this cycling accident. Dr. Dennis Burke of Massachusetts General Hospital performed a past hip surgery on Kerry. He will join up with the secretary in Geneva and accompany him back to the United States, a senior State Department official said late Sunday.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry had suffered a broken femur but was expected to make a full recovery. Kerry had planned to fly back Sunday evening to the U.S., but doctors decided it was “sensible” for him to remain in the hospital for observation overnight and fly home Monday, Kirby said.

He said Kerry never lost consciousness and was grateful to the French and Swiss doctors and nurses who assisted him. Paramedics and a physician were in Kerry’s motorcade at the time of the accident, Kirby said.

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 Photographer: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
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