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MADERA: Maria Barajas Gonzalez, Elvira Zuniga Valencia Involved In Truck Accident By Oregon Avenue And Raymond Road


Aug 3, 2019

Maria Gonzalez Madera – Elvira Valencia Madera: Maria Barajas Gonzalez Injured, Elvira Zuniga Valencia Killed In Madera Truck Accident By Oregon Avenue And Raymond Road / Road 28 1/2 –> Intersection May Be Dangerous

MADERA, CALIFORNIA (August 3, 2019) – A 59-year-old woman identified as Maria Barajas Gonzalez was injured and an 82-year-old woman identified as Elvira Zuniga Valencia was killed in a truck accident by the intersection of Oregon Avenue And Raymond Road / Road 28 1/2. 

Madera police officials are saying that the accident took place on Tuesday around 11:45 a.m. Authorities believe that Maria Barajas Gonzalez and Elvira Zuniga Valencia were stopped at a two way stop at the intersection.  

Maria Barajas Gonzalez may have pulled into the path of a big rig truck that was traveling down Raymond Road. The large yellow truck hit the passenger side of the vehicle carrying Elvira Zuniga Valencia. 

Paramedics rushed to the scene in order to help the two victims. Despite life-saving efforts Elvira Zuniga Valencia later died due to her injuries. 

Police officers are saying that the truck accident may have been caused by poor visibility at the intersection. There are large trees at that intersection which make it difficult to see oncoming vehicles. 

A full investigation into the Madera truck accident remains ongoing at this time. 

Designing Intersections To Be Safe

Nearly 5,000 people are killed ever year in accidents with commercial trucks. According to the FMCSA, “Fatigue, drinking alcohol, and speeding are major factors in motor vehicle crashes overall. Although their presence does not always result in a crash, these three factors, as well as other driver, vehicle, and environmental factors, can increase the risk that a crash will occur.” But driver error is only one part of the problem. Accidents also happen because intersections can be dangerous.

Intersections should be designed to have a clear line of sight. The line of sight is the area around the perimeter of an intersection which allows drivers to see oncoming vehicles. As shown in the image above, this area should be clear of trees, walls or other obstacles that can prevent drivers from seeing oncoming vehicles. Trees or other large objects can obscure an intersections line of sight and cause accidents. Depending on the facts of any case a city may be liable for an accident if visibility at the intersection was reduced by large trees. 

Liability In Truck Accidents At Dangerous Intersections

All truck drivers must operate their vehicles at a reasonably safe speed and keep an eye out for other drivers. A number of state and federal regulations limit a truck’s top speed to 55 mph. But even if a truck driver is perfectly safe there are factors beyond the truck driver’s control that may contribute to an accident. As explained above, a number of accidents are caused by dangerous intersections that have their line of sight obstructed by large trees. 

Cities have a legal responsibility to design, construct and maintain roads that are reasonably safe. If a tree keeps growing and blocks the line of sight of an intersection city officials should remove it. A city’s failure to remove dangerous trees may result in civil liability under California Government Code 835. According to the statute, “a public entity is liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition of its property if the plaintiff establishes that the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury, that the injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition.”

The family of any victim that died in an accident with a truck at a dangerous intersection may be able to seek justice through a municipal negligence claim. Potential claimants in a civil matter could include a victim’s spouse, children, parents, siblings or other victims. Damages can help cover lost wages, funeral expenses, medical bills and emotional trauma. A truck accident attorney can investigate an intersection for you and let you know if a city was negligent. There are, however, very strict statute of limitations for municipal claims. It is therefore important to act quickly. 

Investigating A Truck Accident 

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Elvira Zuniga Valencia. It is our sincere hope that Maria Barajas Gonzalez is able to make a full recovery. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to the Madera Police Department as they continue their investigation. City officials need to take immediate action to remove the trees blocking people’s views at this intersection. If steps aren’t taken this could easily happen again. 

If you or someone that you care about has been involved in an accident at a dangerous intersection you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We can investigate all aspects of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal rights are. Whether you just have questions about the law or need more information about an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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