Our Oakland car crash law firm is always concerned when we read about collisions in our area. Each Oakland car accident is unique but we try to take lessons from each story we come across to try to prevent future incidents.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting on a fatal early morning crash in the Oakland hills. The crash occurred around 4:20 A.M. on Highway 13 in the area south of the Park Boulevard exit. A large tree that reportedly measured nearly forty feet in height had fallen into the roadway, spanning all southbound lanes of the freeway. Four passengers were in Toyota Camry when it hit the fallen tree. The driver stopped the car in the center median and all four passengers stepped into the right shoulder of the highway. A second vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, then hit the tree, causing the truck to become airborne and strike the occupants of the Camry. Nineteen year-old Kevin Lacanlale, the driver os the Camry was killed. Lacanlale, who was living in San Leandro, was a UC Berkeley student and originally came from Washington state. One of the Toyota’s passengers was trapped when the crash knocked a portion of the fallen tree onto an embankment. She was freed by Oakland firefighters using a chainsaw. The driver of the pickup-truck, a fifty-nine year old man from Pittsburg, and the surviving passengers from the Camry were taken to the hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.
It can be difficult to know what to do in the moments following a crash. Safety should always be a first priority. If you are unable to get out of your vehicle, or it would be unsafe to do so, remain seated with your seatbelt fastened and put on your hazard blinkers to alert other drivers to your situation. If your car is not too severely damaged, you should not leave the scene of the accident but should move the vehicle to a safe location and turn on the hazard lights. If you have an emergency kit, set up cones, warning flags, or emergency flares in the vicinity of the accident. As soon as you and your passengers are safe, call 911 to alert the authorities and get additional assistance. Be sure to tell the dispatcher if you and your vehicle are in an area where a secondary crash is possible.
Safety and medical care should always be your first concern after a crash. Once everyone is safe, you should document the crash to help with claims that may arise as a result of the collision. Notify your insurance agent promptly and record the agent who takes your call. Be sure to get the name and contact information for any witnesses and ask for a copy if a police report is generated. If you have a camera, take pictures of the damage and the accident site. Contact an experienced Oakland auto accident attorney for help protecting your legal rights. Our Oakland collision law firm offers a free consultation to review your unique accident and discuss how we can help you get compensation from your insurance company or other parties who may be at fault.