Oakland-San Francisco Attorney Comments on Dangerous S-Curve

Accordign to SFGate,The family of Tahir Sheikh Fakhar, 56, who died on November 9th, 2009, after his truck flipped over a Bay Bridge wall and plunged onto Yerba Buena Island, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state and civil engineers who designed and warned about the dangerous S-curve that caused the accident. After the deadly accident, Caltrans ramped-up signage and added rumble strips, flashing lights and other advisories to notify drivers to slow down. The speed limit on other sections of the bridge is 50mph. Before the accident about 43 crashes had been documented on the s-curve. The wrongful death suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court and accuses Caltrans of negligence in designing the S-curve, part of a detour installed on the bridge while a new eastern span is constructed. The suit blames the poor design and lack of warning signs and signals, and seeks unspecified damages. Bart Ney, Caltrans spokesman, stated that increased enforcement of the sped limit and public awareness has cut down on the accident rate at the S-curve.
Ironically, the S-curve was constructed to keep drivers safe, as it replaced the seismically unsafe eastern span. The new speed limit is 40 mph on the curve, which is a 10 mph decrease from the rest of the span of the bridge. Back in October 14, 2009 around 2:30 p.m., another big rig overturned at the s-curve, which prompted Caltrans officials to approve better warning signs to alert motorists to slow down, which were insufficient in preventing Fakhar’s tragic accident. The semi-truck was driven by Manuel E. Garcia Jara, 55, who had reportedly traveled across the bridge many times, but had never navigated the new S-curve, which opened on September 8th. Like Fakhar, Jara was traveling over the 40 mph limit, when his 18-wheeler entered the curve and overturned on the westbound lanes. Prior to proper warnings, the sudden and unexpected curve did not give drivers enough time to slow down until it was too late and they had already lost control of their vehicles. These accidents highlight the need for Caltrans and its engineers to better analyze future construction projects in order to prevent such catastrophic accidents. Tax payer money goes into these projects, and the public expects a high standard of safety when Caltrans builds a new project– let’s hope they have learned from their mistakes.
If you or a loved have been injured in a car or trucking accident, please call the Brod Law Firm today. We have the experience necassary to help you win the compensation you deserve.

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