Daniel Podunovich Bakersfield: Daniel Ralph Podunovich From Dillon Montana Killed In Bakersfield Semi-Truck Accident On Highway 99 By South Union Avenue
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA (June 22, 2019) – A 41-year-old man identified as Daniel Ralph Podunovich was tragically killed in a car accident after he was rear-ended by a semi-truck on Highway 99 north of Herring Road.
Bakersfield police are saying that the accident took place at 11:59 p.m. not far from South Union Avenue. Daniel Ralph Podunovich was in a Kia Optima that was partially on the shoulder and in a lane of traffic.
A 2011 Freightliner semi-truck hauling a 53-foot trailer had just finished checking his mirrors when he saw the red lights on the Kia Optima around 20 – 30 yards ahead of him. The driver of the semi-truck braked and turned his wheel to the left, but he hit the back of the KIA.
The force of the impact pushed the Kia to the West of gore point. Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene in order to help Daniel Ralph Podunovich, but he was later pronounced dead due to his injuries.
The semi-truck was partially jackknifed after the accident, but it doesn’t appear that the truck driver was injured. He remained at the scene and cooperated with police.
There is still an ongoing investigation into what may have caused Daniel Ralph Podunovich’s vehicle to stop prior to the accident. The Bakersfield Area CHP is urging anyone that may have witnessed the collision to contact them at (661) 396-6600.
The Causes of Rear End Collisions With Semi-Trucks
Nearly 5,000 people are killed every year in semi-truck accidents. Motorcyclists are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured in crashes with trucks. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Motorcycles are by their nature far less crashworthy than closed vehicles. They are also less visible to other drivers and pedestrians and less stable than four-wheel vehicles. Motorcyclists and their passengers are more vulnerable to the hazards of weather and road conditions than drivers in closed vehicles.” There are a number of causes of rear-end collisions including:
- Speeding: Speed has been cited as a major factor in nearly a quarter of all fatal car accidents
- Distractions: Truck drivers can easily be distracted by checking their mirrors or the cellphones.
- Drunk Driving: As strange as it may sound, truck drivers do occasionally drink and drive. Truck drivers are considered legally intoxicated when they have a (BAC) of 0.04 or higher.
There is simply no excuse for a truck driver to rear-end another vehicle. That is typically fairly strong evidence that they were not paying close enough attention to the road ahead of them. It doesn’t matter if a vehicle was stalled in the middle of the road. In fact, in most situations there is a presumption of negligence on drivers that rear-end other vehicles. Depending on the facts of any case, there may be numerous sources of liability for a truck accident.
Liability In Semi-Truck Accidents
Truck drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles according to the prevailing conditions and keep an eye our for the vehicle ahead of them. It is dangerous to follow other vehicles too closely. According to California Vehicle Code 21703, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon, and the condition of, the roadway.”
Driving the speed limit during a time of reduced visibility may also be reckless. If a truck driver was working for a company at the time of an accident that company may also face civil liability as well. Based on the legal doctrine of Respondeat Superior, companies are generally responsible for the negligence of their employees – insofar as the employee was working within the course and scope of their job duties.
The family of any person that dies in a truck accident may have legal recourse through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim could include compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of love and emotional trauma. Truck companies will often work hard to deny liability following an accident. Many victims and there families are re-victimized. But this doesn’t have to be the case. A truck accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Truck Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Daniel Ralph Podunovich as they are grieving such an incredible loss. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to the CHP as they continue their investigation. There needs to be a thorough investigation into the conduct of this truck driver.
Have you or someone that you care about 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 that accident victims get the support and justice that they deserve. Whether you need more information about a particular accident or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.