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HANFORD: Maria Pelayo, Refugio Salas Olague Killed In Truck Accident On Highway 43

Jul 2, 2019

Refugio Olague Hanford, Maria Pelayo Corcoran: Maria Pelayo, Refugio Salas Olague From Corcoran Killed In Hanford Truck Accident On Highway 43 By Idaho Avenue

HANFORD, CALIFORNIA (July 2, 2019) – Two people identified as Maria Pelayo and Refugio Salas Olague were killed in a car accident with a semi-truck on Highway 43 that seriously injured their 80-year-old passenger. 

California Highway Patrol are saying that the truck accident took place just before 8:00 p.m. not far from Idaho Avenue and Kings County. Maria Pelayo, Refugio Salas Olague and their passenger were in a Chevy SUV.

The driver of a semi-truck began to turn in front of them. The SUV was not able to stop in time and an accident ensued. Maria Pelayo, Refugio Salas Olague and their 80-year-old passenger all suffered major injuries. 

Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene. Despite life-saving efforts, Maria Pelayo and Refugio Salas Olague both died due to their injuries. 

One passenger in the car had to be transported to the hospital with major injuries. 

Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

According to the FMCSA, nearly 4,000 people are killed every year in truck accidents. Those that manage to survive are often left with critical injuries. Turns in particular can be especially dangerous. There are a number of reasons why this is the case:

  • Trucks have very large blind spots. Drivers often don’t see vehicles next to them and cause accidents as they are making turns. 
  • A number of accidents are caused by improperly trained drivers. Turning a truck is much more difficult and thus much more dangerous than turning a car. 
  • Truck driver fatigue has been listed as the number one factor behind fatal accidents. Truck drivers can work up to 14 hours in a day and they become naturally tired. When this is combined with lower visibility at night accidents tend to spike. 

Many trucks are equipped with event data recorders. These can offer a great deal of insight into what a truck driver was doing prior to an accident. Depending on the particular facts of any case, there may be multiple forms of liability for a truck accident. 

Liability In Truck Accidents

Truck drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles according to traffic safety regulations. If a truck driver makes an unsafe turning movement, they could be held at fault in the event of an accident. According to California Vehicle Code 21801, “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement.”

There is simply no excuse for a truck to turn into the path of another vehicle. A good truck driver must wait until there are no oncoming vehicles before making a turn. Trucks also tend to make very wide turns. A driver needs sufficient training to know where their vehicle will likely end up after the turn is completed. If a truck driver was working at the time of an accident the company that they were working for could be held liable. Generally speaking, companies are responsible for the negligence of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. 

The family of any victim that died in a truck accident may have legal recourse through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. The statute allows a victim’s next of kin to seek damages. This could include the cost of funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages and emotional trauma. The next of kin may include spouses, children, parents and siblings. A truck accident attorney can investigate your case free of cost and get you answers about what caused an accident. 

Getting Information About A Truck Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Maria Pelayo and Refugio Salas Olague. Any person that may have witnessed the accident should reach out to the Hanford CHP as they continue to investigate at (559) 582-0231. Them families of the victims deserve answers about what went wrong.

If you or someone that you love has been involved in a truck accident there are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply about making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that they are treated fairly. Whether you would like a free, independent investigation into an accident or just have legal questions we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us to get more information (888) 888-9285.

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