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UPDATE: Father Joseph Parekkatt Injured, Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala Killed In Oakland Truck Accident On State Route 20 By Wilbur Springs


Oct 17, 2019

Joseph Parekkatt Oakland: Father Joseph Parekkatt Injured, Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala Killed In Oakland Truck Accident On State Route 20 By Wilbur Springs

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (October 17, 2019) – A pastor from Concord identified as Father Mathew Vellankal and a visiting Archbishop identified as Dominic Jala has tragically died in a truck accident that also injured Father Joseph Parekkatt.

California Highway Patrol are saying that the accident took place around 2:30 p.m. Father Joseph Parekkatt, Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala were in a Toyota Prius that was hit by a semi-truck. 

The driver of the semi-truck remained at the scene and cooperated with police. Paramedics rushed to the scene to help all of the victims.

Despite life-saving efforts Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala both died due to their injuries. Father Joseph Parekkatt was injured in the crash and had to be taken to the hospital.

Father Mathew Vellankal was born in India and known for his skills as a magician which he used in fundraising efforts for his parish. Funeral arrangements remain pending at this time. 

There is an ongoing investigation into what may have caused the accident. 

Liability In Semi-Truck Accidents 

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.” There are a number of measures that truck drivers can take to help prevent accidents:

  • Truck drivers should check their blind spots regularly before lane changes
  • Truck drivers should get adequate rest and take periodic breaks to prevent fatigue
  • Truck drivers must undergo periodic medical exams in order to help ensure they are fit to drive 

Like all other people truck drivers must operate their vehicles according to the prevailing conditions of the roadway. 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.” A number of federal and state laws limit trucks to 55 mph. Victims of truck accidents often suffer a number of very serious injuries including:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Organ damage
  • Soft tissue damage

Many of the injuries associated with semi-truck accidents are not always physical. According to Very Well Mind, “Motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general population. Each year, there are an estimated six million MVAs in the United States, resulting in over 2.5 million injuries. According to a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded study, 39.2% of MVA survivors develop PTSD.” It’s important to seek regular follow up care if you’ve been involved in an accident. 

Victims of semi-truck accidents are protected by a number of laws. The family of any victim that died in a semi-truck accident may have legal recourse through California Civil Code 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and pain and suffering. 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. There are, however, statute of limitations associated with civil claims, so it’s important to act quickly. 

Investigating An Oakland Truck Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to Father Joseph Parekkatt and the families of Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala. Any person that may have seen the accident should reach out to California Highway Patrol as they continue to investigate. It is our sincere hope that measures are put in place to prevent additional accidents like this. 

UPDATE: Father Joseph Parekkatt Injured, Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala Killed In Oakland Truck Accident On State Route 20 By Wilbur Springs

UPDATE: Father Joseph Parekkatt Injured, Father Mathew Vellankal and Archbishop Dominic Jala Killed In Oakland Truck Accident On State Route 20 By Wilbur Springs

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