The odds of being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver in California are not in your favor. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that approximately 15 percent of drivers in California are uninsured, as measured by the ratio of uninsured motorists claims to all claims for bodily injury.
A suspected hit and run on Saturday, June 5, 2014, resulted in the wrongful death of a San Diego woman. The body of 27-year-old Amber Schei was found on Saturday morning in the bushes on the side of Nimitz Boulevard in the Ocean Beach neighborhood in San Diego. Responding medical personnel pronounced her dead at the scene due to multiple blunt force injuries that are characteristic of a wrongful death hit-and-run. Ms. Schei is survived by her mother Tammy Wilson, and her 10-year-old daughter.
A San Diego man who was the victim of a suspected wrongful death died at a hospital on April 24th after being found unconscious in the street by his San Carlos house. The man has been identified as 52 year old Jackie Clinton Jackson Jr.. San Diego police are investigating the death as a possible hit-and-run. A neighbor called police about 5:10 a.m. after seeing Mr. Jackson at the foot of a driveway on Beaver Lake Drive, east of Cowles Mountain Boulevard. Mr. Jackson was on the ground between two parked vehicles and was unresponsive when medics arrived. Mr. Jackson was then transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was overcome by his injuries and died hours after admission.
All too often, San Diego parents receive the horrific news that their child was killed in a car accident. On April 17, 2014, the parents of 14 year old Dana Jean Morofski received that terrible information. This child lost her life in a chain reaction of car accidents on South Mission Road, in Fallbrook, California. She was in the front passenger seat of a Honda Civic. For unknown reasons, the driver lost control of the Honda. The vehicle crossed the double yellow lines of the roadway and struck an on coming Nissan Titan truck. The Honda then spun sideways into the southbound lane and was struck on the passenger side by a Toyota pick-up truck.
The latest in a series of car accidents involving multiple vehicles happened on California State Route 52 at California State Route 125 on Thursday, March 27th. The accident involved a large black pickup truck that sustained rear-end damage and a white SUV that had front end damage according to the California Highway Patrol. No names were released in the accident, but officials confirmed that two other vehicles were involved. At least one person was hospitalized.
Following a precedent-setting wrongful death suit brought against Uber earlier this year, Uber and Lyft have expanded their insurance policies to cover accidents that occur while a driver is accepting fares but is not currently transporting a customer. Prior to the change, Uber's insurance policy would only cover their drivers' accidents if they were carrying a customer at the time the accident occurred. If an accident occurred while the driver did not have a fare, the only source of recovery for the victims was the driver's personal insurance coverage.
Road rage often is a cause of car accidents in San Diego. On March 13, 2014 road rage apparently was the cause of an injury traffic accident in the 7800 block of Mission Gorge Road. A female driving a 2013 BMW and a male driving a 1997 Ford Ranger jockeyed in and out of traffic and eventually collided. Both vehicles sustained damage. The driver of the Ford Ranger was injured.
As the weather warms, tragic bicycle accidents become more frequent. On March 3, 2014, 44-year-old Chula Vista resident David Voigt was struck and killed by 29-year-old Michael Reyes on 100 East J Street. As Mr. Voigt was riding his bike home from work, Mr. Reyes' vehicle crossed over the dividing line into oncoming traffic and collided with Mr. Voigt. Mr. Voigt was rushed to UCSD Medical Center, where he died from multiple blunt force injuries sustained in the accident. Police later learned that the vehicle Mr. Reyes was driving was stolen, and that Mr. Reyes had been drinking alcohol before the accident occurred.
After a deadly string of hit and run accidents shook the San Diego community during the past few months, victims and their families are often left without the identity of the perpetrator. On Wednesday February 12 of this year, 20-year-old Carlsbad resident Vincent Edward Zellefrow Jr. was hit by a 17-year-old girl who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. While under the influence, she hit Vincent while he was skateboarding with a friend. Vincent did not survive the accident. The 17 year-old-driver fled the scene. Quick investigation found both the vehicle and the driver.