Kalen Shippen Durham: Kalen Shippen, Ellen Blee, Kristopher Blee, Olivia Blee, Imre Gerbl Injured In Durham Dump Truck Accident On Highway 99 Near Neal Road And Chico –> Donald Shippen, Apryl Shippen Both Killed
DURHAM, CALIFORNIA (June 23, 2019) – Two people are dead and multiple people identified as Kalen Shippen, Ellen Blee, Kristopher Blee, Olivia Blee and Imre Gerbl were injured in a dump truck accident on Highway 99 not far from Neal Road.
California Highway Patrol are saying that a three-axle dump truck was traveling down Highway 99 around 55 mph when traffic started to slow. The dump truck hit a Chevy sedan carrying three people.
Two people inside the Chevrolet sedan died due to their injuries and a woman identified as Kalen Shippen was seriously injured in the accident. California Highway Patrol are saying that Kalen Shippen was taken to the Enloe Medical Center in order to receive treatment.
The force of the impact pushed the Chevy Into a Toyota minivan driven by three Chico residents identified as Ellen Blee, Kristopher Blee and Olivia Blee. Durham police are saying that Ellen Blee, Kristopher Blee and Olivia Blee were all taken to the Enloe Medical Center as well to receive treatment.
The Toyota minivan was then pushed into a 2019 Freightliner that was driven by 49-year-old Imre Gerbl of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The identities of the two people that died in the Chevy will be released when their next of kin has been notified.
It remains unclear if either drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the crash or if the dump truck driver may face any charges.
Causes of Dump Truck Accidents
Truck accidents claim thousands of lives every year in the United States. According to the FMCSA, “In 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9-percent increase from 2016. Although the number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 42 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009, the 2017 number is still 7 percent lower than the 21st-century peak of 5,231 in 2005.” The causes of truck accidents have been fairly consistent and include:
- Overloaded trailers: All commercial trucks have federally regulated weight limits. When is truck is overloaded this can make it more difficult to brake and contribute to the likelihood of an accident.
- Fatigued drivers: Fatigue is regularly cited as the number one factor behind fatal truck collisions. There are regulations that drivers can’t work for more than 14 hours in a day. But these rules do get broken.
- Impaired drivers: Truck drivers are considered impaired when they have a (BAC) of 0.04 or higher. But what many driver’s don’t realize is that prescription and over-the-counter medications can also impair their driving ability.
- Truck company violations: Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to properly maintain their vehicles and to hire competent drivers. If they fail to maintain their fleet or hire unlicensed drivers they could face liability for an accident.
Those that manage to survive dump truck accidents are often left with catastrophic injuries and lasting medical bills. The life-time costs associated with treating serious injuries from a truck accident can easily exceed $500,000. This can be a crushing burden for victims as well as their families. There are, however, a number of laws designed to protect victim’s rights.
Liability In Dump Truck Accidents
Dump truck drivers must remain vigilant as they are completing their routes and operate their vehicles according to the prevailing conditions of the road. According to California Vehicle Code 22350, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
Driving the speed limit during times of heavy congestion on the freeway may very well be reckless. If a truck driver rear-ends a slower vehicle they will typically be held at fault. Even if a car is stalled in the middle of the road, a good truck driver should be able to spot it and slow down in time to avoid an accident. If a dump truck driver was working at the time of an accident, the company that they work for could be held responsible.
Any person that is injured due to the negligence of a dump truck driver may have the ability to seek damages through a bodily injury claim for all of their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The family of any person that died could potentially seek justice through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. A truck accident attorney can evaluate all of the facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Dump Truck Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of the two victims that died in this horrific accident. It is our sincere hope that Kalen Shippen, Ellen Blee, Kristopher Blee, Olivia Blee and Imre Gerbl will all make a full recovery. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what this dump truck driver was doing prior to the accident. The victims and their families deserve answers.
If you or someone that you care about has been injured in a dump truck accident you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you need help with medical bills or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.