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Truck accident kills 1, causes serious injuries for others

Navigating around 18-wheelers and other traffic can sometimes be difficult when traffic is at its finest, but when another vehicle makes a mistake, the results can be tragic. A recent truck accident involving multiple vehicles caused serious injuries and, sadly, one death. With the aid of eyewitness testimony, California police are continuing to investigate the initial cause of the wreck.

The wreck occurred shortly before 8 a.m. on Highway 17. Apparently, an 18-wheeler that may have been transporting gravel jackknifed across the highway, setting off a chaotic chain of accidents. The victim, unable to stop in time, collided with the stopped 18-wheeler and was thrown at least partially from his vehicle.

In total, 11 vehicles were involved in the wreck. Six of the seven people taken to the hospital only suffered minor injuries, while the seventh was last reported to be in more serious condition with a lacerated liver. Witnesses to the accident reported that they saw smoke streaming from the 18-wheeler’s brakes. This may prompt authorities to investigate how the owner of the truck maintained the vehicle.

Although it is unclear whether the 18-wheeler’s brakes played a role in the fatal truck accident, the conclusion of the criminal investigation by California authorities is not required for the victim’s family to move forward with a wrongful death claim. In this instance, either the truck’s owner, driver or both may be held responsible for the death of the man who was ejected from his vehicle and for those who suffered serious injuries. If successful, the victim’s family may receive compensation for the unexpected burden of losing a loved one, which can include expenses from unexpected funeral costs, lost wages and other financial damages.

Source: ktvu.com, "Santa Cruz man killed in massive Hwy 17 crash identified", Ann Rubin, July 11, 2014

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