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UPDATE: Kristopher Blee, Kalen Shippen Injured In Dump Truck Accident In Durham On Highway 99 By Herring Road and Neal Road Near Chico


Jun 24, 2019

Kristopher Blee Durham Accident: Kristopher Blee,  Ellen Blee, Olivia Blee From Chico, Kalen Shippen Injured In Dump Truck Accident In Durham On Highway 99 By Herring Road and Neal Road –> Donald Shippen, Apryl Shippen Both Killed

DURHAM, CALIFORNIA (June 24, 2019) – Two people have died and four more people identified as Kristopher Blee, Ellen Blee, Olivia Blee and Kalen Shippen have been injured in a dump truck accident on Highway 99 not far from Herring Road and Neal Road. 

California Highway Patrol are saying that the fatal collision took place during a time when traffic was slowing down. A dump truck hit the back of a Chevy that was carrying two people. 

Three people were extricated from the vehicle, but two of them sadly died due to their injuries. Kalen Shippen, 24, was the sole survivor of the Chevy and was transported to the hospital with major injuries. 

The force of the impact from the dump truck caused a chain reaction accident that pushed the Chevy into a Toyota minivan carrying Kristopher Blee, Ellen Blee and Olivia Blee all from Chico.

Bakersfield police are saying that Kristopher Blee, Ellen Blee and Olivia Blee were call taken to the Enloe Medical Center in order to receive treatment. 

A semi-truck was also involved in the collision. The Toyota minivan was pushed into a tractor-trailer driven by Imre Gerbl of Winnipeg, Manitoba. 

The 55-year-old man driving the 2011 Volvo dump truck remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. There is an ongoing investigation into why the dump truck did not slow down in time.

Many people have said that this stretch of road can be particularly dangerous. According to Nancy Santana, “This highway is so dangerous. I traveled it for two years. It averaged a fatality a month. People speed and are not careful at all. Most are on cell phones. [There are] two colleges in the area with lots of students traveling 99,” said Nancy

She continued, “[There are] tons of semi trucks using 99 which is one lane pretty much from Yuba city to Chico. We need more law enforcement on this highway 99 and therefore, we need funding to go to law enforcement. Our funding goes elsewhere. This is heartbreaking and preventable.”

Why Rear-End Truck Collisions Take Place 

It’s not uncommon for truck drivers in California to make dangerous and illegal maneuvers that put other motorists and pedestrians at risk. Here are just a few of the forms of dangerous behavior that truck drivers engage in that may likely contribute to an accident: 

  • Ignoring speed limits
  • Following other vehicles too closely
  • Failing to obey traffic signals
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/ drugs/ prescriptions
  • Driving without the necessary training
  • Driving while distracted

Truck drivers tend to be held to a much higher standard than other motorists. This is in part because there is so much at stake. Just by their sheer weight and size trucks are far more deadly than smaller vehicles. Depending on the facts of any case, there may be numerous sources of liability for a truck accident. 

Liability In Truck Accidents

Truck drivers and truck companies could both face liability for an accident if either of their conduct was negligent. Negligence is simply failure to take reasonable measures to avoid causing injury or death to another person. For example, a truck driver could be negligent if they failed to slow down their vehicle in time to prevent an accident. Like all other drivers, truck drivers must maintain a safe speed as they are completing their routes. 

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.” If a truck driver rear-ends another vehicle that is fairly strong evidence that they were either speeding, distracted or following the lead vehicle too closely. 

A truck driver could face criminal as well as civil liability for an accident, depending on how egregious their conduct was. Any person that is injured may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Victims of truck accident often times may not even realize the full extent of their injuries until several months following a collision. Damages can help cover medical bills, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. A truck accident attorney can help make sure that key pieces of evidence are being preserved and that your rights are being protected. 

Investigating A Truck Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our good wishes to Kristopher Blee, Ellen Blee, Olivia Blee and Kalen Shippen as they continue to recover from this horrific accident. There needs to be some accountability for the family of those that died in this tragedy. This was completely preventable and should never have taken place. 

If you or someone that you care about has been injured due to the negligence of a dump truck driver you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims get all of the support that they deserve and that trucking companies are held to account for the harm they’ve caused. Whether you need a free police report about a particular incident or just have questions about your rights under the law we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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