Chevette Pugh Los Angeles: Chevette Pugh Injured, Ronald Mullen Killed In Bel Air Truck Accident On 405 Freeway Through the Sepulveda Pass By Bel Air Crest Road
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (October 8, 2019) – One person identified as Ronald Mullen was killed and a 32-year-old man identified as Chevette Pugh was seriously injured in a semi-truck accident on the 405 freeway by Bel Air Crest Road.
California Highway Patrol are saying that the crash took place around 4:00 a.m. in the number 4 lane of the freeway. There was stopped traffic on the freeway leading up to the fatal crash.
A 49-year-old truck driver was traveling at an unsafe speed and rear-ended a 2014 Dodge Journey SUV carrying Chevette Pugh and the vehicle’s driver. Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help all of the victims.
Despite life-saving efforts Ronald Mullen who was driving the 2014 Dodge Journey SUV died due to his injuries. Authorities revealed his name on Wednesday after his next of kin was notified.
Chevette Pugh was a passenger in the SUV and had to be taken to the hospital with major injuries. Helicopter footage of the accident scene showed the Dodge SUV with major rear end damage. The end of the vehicle was nearly pushed all of the way into the driver’s compartment.
Authorities do not believe that either drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. The driver of the 2019 Kenworth truck involved in the accident that killed Ronald Mullen remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
Liability In Bel Air Semi-Truck Accidents Involving Dodge Journey SUVs
Many truck companies operate as common carriers, though some also operate as contract carriers. Common carriers are legally obliged to adhere to a high degree of vigilance in order to prevent accidents. According to the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions, “Common carriers must carry passengers [or property] safely. Common carriers must use the highest care and the vigilance of a very cautious person. They must do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers[or property].” There are a number of safety measures that truck companies must take in order to help prevent accidents:
- Truck drivers must acquire the proper commercial licensing
- Truck drivers may not work for more than 14 hours in one day
- Truck drivers must undergo periodic medical exams to make sure that they are fit to drive
- Truck drivers must not operate their vehicles with a BAC of 0.04 or higher.
A number of state and federal regulations prohibit truck drivers from driving more than 55 mph. However, this speed may be unsafe depending on 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 at night or in heavy traffic may very well be dangerous and illegal.
A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs and can therefore be very difficult to stop. Truck drivers must be especially careful to travel at safe speeds and maintain a safe follow distance with the vehicle ahead of them. There are a number of reasons why a truck accident might take place:
- Driver illness
- Driver intoxication
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Adverse weather conditions
- Medical emergencies
Fatigue, in particular, is one of the leading factors behind fatal truck accidents. According to one scientific study by the New England Journal of Medicine, “Long-haul truck drivers in this study obtained less sleep than is required for alertness on the job. The greatest vulnerability to sleep or sleep-like states is in the late night and early morning.” Part of the problem is that truck drivers are put under an enormous amount of pressure to complete their routes on time. Still, there is no excuse for a truck driver to ever rear-end another vehicle.
In many situations problems with a vehicle may contribute to an accident. For example, Chrysler has recalled many Dodge Journey SUVs because they had faulty ignition switches. This has caused numerous accidents and led to dozens of deaths and many more injuries. If a car stalled on the freeway and this was due to a faulty ignition switch the company that manufactured the car could potentially bear civil liability.
Victims of semi-truck accidents (and their families) are protected through a number of laws. For example, the family of any victim that died in a truck accident may have legal recourse through California Civil Code 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, emotional trauma and pain and suffering. It’s important that evidence is preserved after an accident. Commercial trucks from Volvo, Kenworth etc. typically come equipped with event data recorders (EDRs). A truck accident attorney can examine your case free of cost and make sure that key pieces of evidence are being protected.
Investigating a Los Angeles Semi-Truck Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Ronald Mullen and hope that Chevette Pugh is able to recover fully. Any person that may have seen the accident should come forward and speak with California Highway Patrol. This accident was completely preventable and should not have taken place. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of all affected.
Have you or someone that you care about been involved in a semi-truck accident? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights so that they can make informed decisions. Whether you just have questions about the law or need a free, independent investigation to get to the bottom of what happened in an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.