Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

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Driver says coughing made him lose control in fatal crash

An eastbound big rig on the 210 freeway in San Fernando Valley drove down an embankment before crashing into vehicles on an exit ramp. The California Highway Patrol reported that the accident happened near Lake View Terrace and Pacoima on April 17. A 32-year-old man died, and five more people were injured.

According to the CHP, the male big rig driver said he had a coughing fit that caused him to lose control of his truck. An officer said that no evidence of intoxication was present. Investigators, however, will continue to look into the causes of the driver's loss of control.

The CHP said the big rig hit an SUV and a passenger vehicle stopped on the exit ramp at the entrance to a surface street. Both vehicles were forced into the intersection by the big rig, which kept moving until it hit a pickup truck. The pickup truck was then thrown against a dump truck. One vehicle was overturned. The driver of the pickup truck did not survive. Four people suffered critical injuries and went to local hospitals. Another person reported minor injuries.

The family of a victim who was killed in a motor vehicle accident might be able to recover damages, such as lost wages, with a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney could help explain a survivor's rights to certain types of compensation if a negligent person caused the loved one's death. The estimation of damages and the preparation of a lawsuit are services an attorney might be able to perform on behalf of a survivor.

Source: KTLA, "1 Dead, 5 Hospitalized After Big Rigs Crashes Into Vehicles in San Fernando Valley," Ashley Soley-Cerro, Erin Myers and Melissa Pamer, April 17, 2015

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