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California Storms Shut Major Highways, Imperil Motorists

Blue flasher on the police car at night.

February came in like a lion in southern California, with rain and snow at higher elevations causing treacherous conditions on the roads. Precipitation also led to mudslides that closed roads and caused authorities to mandate evacuations. Schools were closed throughout the region. As many as 40,000 people were without power over the weekend.

One Killed, One Critically Injured on I-5

Multiple accidents caused injuries and deaths in southern California. Early on February 2, a member of a search-and-rescue team from Ventura County was killed in a northbound lane of Interstate 5 near Gorman in the midst of heavy rain. They were on their way to training, saw a collision, and stopped to offer assistance, at which point another vehicle hit them. The victim was Jeff Dye, who volunteered with the Fillmore Mountain Search and Rescue Team. One other team member was critically injured, and another sustained minor injuries.

Debris and Mud Slides Imperil Motorists, Homeowners

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) indicated that rain had caused a debris slide near Grapevine, sending rocks and boulders onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 5. In Montecito, mudslides and water caused a stretch of U.S. 101 to be closed. Water along State Road 135 caused portion of the road to be closed.

Parts of the Pacific Coast Highway were closed due to mudslides. A flash flood full of debris was reported in Malibu; news stories estimated the water at 4 to 5 feet. Part of Malibu West, Paseo Canyon, and Agoura Hills were under mandatory evacuation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Although forecasts were calling for milder weather later in the week, the fact remains that the fires throughout California have created conditions in which precipitation can cause mud and debris slides that imperil everyone. They can plunge onto roadways and cause major vehicle accidents. They pose dangers to home and business owners as well.

Southern Californians are also facing weather that makes roadways dangerous, such as heavy rain, extreme winds, and snow. On top of that, we do not always have experience driving in this kind of weather.

Make sure you are driving safely, no matter what the weather. Drive under the speed limit if visibility is poor or water or snow is on the road. Make sure that your windshield wipers are in good condition. It’s becoming very clear that the aftereffects of the California fires may be with Californians a long time. And, in 2019 so far, weather has been throwing curve balls that have exacerbated those effects.

If You Need a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

Have you been in a car or other vehicle accident as a result of the storms and fire damage? If you need a car accident lawyer, the Ellis Law Firm can help. We have spent more than 20 years investigating and litigating all types of accidents and collisions throughout Southern California. Please call 310-641-3335 today for a free appointment to get our advice on your situation.

Additional Resources:

1. Brackett, Ron. “Second Northwest Winter Storm Shuts Roads and Schools From California to Washington.” The Weather Channel. February 3, 2019. https://weather.com/news/news/2019-02-01-california-storm-impacts-flash-flooding-high-winds.

2. Parvini, Sarah and Ben Poston, Angel Jennings, and Teresa Watanabe. “Storm that pounded Southern California on Saturday will ease up the next few days, forecasters say.” Los Angeles Times. February 2, 2018. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-southern-california-storms-20190202-story.html.


Northridge Crash Kills 2, Injures 4

emergency vehicles

A horrifying two-car accident in Northridge cost two people their lives. Stephen Hook, age 61, of the Sherwood Forest neighborhood in Northridge, and Meredith Smith, age 62, of Lancaster were both in a black sports coupe as it struck a white sedan carrying four people. Hook, the driver, lost control of the vehicle as he traveled westbound on the 17500 block of Parthenia Street. All four of the occupants in the white sedan, who have not been identified, survived the crash.

Sports coupe was a custom-built hot rod kit car

TV news footage of the crash scene shows an utterly crumpled sports coupe on the side of the road. Early reports indicate that it had been a custom-built, hot rod-style kit car. Meredith Smith, the passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene. Stephen Hook was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

All of the victims in the white sedan are adults. The driver and front passenger were trapped in the car. Emergency responders had to extricate them, and they were taken to a hospital in critical condition. The two rear passengers have been hospitalized in serious condition with unknown injuries.

Cause of the crash still under investigation

The investigation remains ongoing, but early reports indicate that speed is being looked at as a possible factor. Area resident Tom Barker heard the accident. In an interview with NBC News, Barker said he heard the engine revving and thought the black sports coupe may have been going at 70 or 75 miles per hour. “They were flying,” he said.

The accident, which occurred on the afternoon of Saturday, January 26, shut down a stretch of Parthenia Street for about five hours. Neighbors in the area say that street racing is often a problem on that street, although the exact cause of the accident remains under investigation. It’s unknown if police investigators believe that alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in this case.

A look at liability issues in wrongful death cases


There are many details that aren’t currently known about the deadly accident in Northridge. However, in many car accident cases, it’s often found that one of the drivers is at fault. Some drivers may be held liable for damages if they were found to be driving recklessly, such as speeding or otherwise ignoring traffic laws. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and driving under the influence of drugs are also behaviors that breach the duty of care all drivers have to one another.

In cases in which the at-fault driver perishes in the accident, the survivors and the family members of deceased victims may decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s estate. A wrongful death lawsuit may result in compensatory damages that cover medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of support, as well as damages such as the loss of love and affection of a deceased family member.

Legal help for Los Angeles, California residents

The aftermath of a serious car accident is chaotic. It’s often difficult for survivors and family members of victims to know what to do and where to go. At Ellis Injury Law, we pride ourselves on our approachable and accessible manner. We understand that car accidents can be traumatizing, and so we make it as easy as possible for you to sort through your legal rights and options. For compassionate client care and vigorous legal representation, call our car accident lawyers in Los Angeles at 888-369-2446.

Resources:

  1. NBC News, 2 Dead, 4 Injured In Violent Northridge Car Crash, https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Two-dead-in-Northridge-Car-Crash-504922231.html
  2. KTLA5, Coroner ID’s 2 People Killed in Northridge Crash Involving Hot Rod-Style Kit Car, https://ktla.com/2019/01/28/coroner-ids-2-people-killed-in-northridge-crash-involving-hot-rod-style-kit-car/

Man Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident on 210 Freeway

Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

A man standing outside his vehicle and on the 210 Freeway shoulder was hit by another car and killed on Friday, January 18. The man was surveying by his yellow Hyundai at roughly 7:30 p.m., and authorities surmised that he may have been preparing to change a flat tire.

The victim was not killed on impact, but apparently died shortly afterward. Authorities said there was very little that could be done for him when they arrived. The accident happened on the westbound lanes of the 210 Freeway, near Hermosa Avenue at Archibald.

The man was hit by a white Camry; news reports indicated that the impact was enough to knock the door on the driver’s side straight back.

Neither the name nor the age of the man killed were disclosed.

Car Abandoned; One Arrest Made

The Camry’s driver kept going. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) later recovered the car roughly two minutes away from the accident scene, but the driver could not initially be found. The CHIP indicated that the vehicle had sustained damage to its front end consistent with the accident. Witnesses at Liberty and Lemon were said to have seen a female driver abandoning the vehicle.

A day later, on January 19, police announced an arrest in the hit-and-run accident. News reports, however, indicated that it was not clear whether the woman seen abandoning the vehicle was the one in custody, so the situation appears to be ongoing.

Shortly after the accident, the CHP found a white Camry about two minutes away from the accident scene. It had sustained front-end damage consistent with an accident.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Is a Crime

While the investigation into the causes of this accident appears to be ongoing, some general comments can be made about hit-and-run accidents. Regardless of who is at fault for an accident, or whether anyone is at fault, leaving the scene of a vehicle accident is a crime in California. Drivers involved in an accident need to stay on the scene until police arrive, talk to the people involved, and make a full report.

If you are involved in an accident, make sure you are in a safe place. Then, call the police. You should also call an ambulance if someone has been injured. The police interview all the drivers involved, as well as witnesses. Police reports are highly important if any legal case is to follow, as the reports provide evidence of what happened.

If You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one has been in any time of car accident in southern California, consult the experienced car crash lawyers at the Ellis Law Firm today. The initial consultation is free.  Our number is 310-641-3335.

We have been fighting for the rights of the injured for more than 20 years. We work to see that justice is done.

Additional Resources:

1.     Arrest Made in Deadly 210 Freeway Hit-and-Run. CBS Los Angeles. January 19, 2019. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/01/19/arrest-210-freeway-hit-and-run/.

2. Man Changing Tire Killed By Hit-and-Run Driver on 210 Freeway. CBS Los Angeles. January 18, 2019. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/01/18/deadly-hit-and-run-accident-reported-on-210-in-rancho-cucamonga/.


One Person Killed, Four More Injured on 101 Freeway in Hollywood; Heavy Rains to Blame?

ambulanceA six-car pileup 101 Freeway killed one person on Saturday, January 12 and injured four more.

The extensive collision occurred on the northbound lanes of Lankershim Boulevard. While authorities didn’t give a specific reason, the roads were soaked with rain as a result of southern California weather conditions.

Lanes were closed as authorities worked in clear the wreckage.

Drive Safely in Heavy Rains

The Los Angeles area has been buffeted with heavy rains lately. While it isn’t clear if weather conditions caused the massive Hollywood multicar collision, accidents can certainly be more common – and deadlier – in wet weather. This may be especially true in southern California, where we get less experience driving in heavy rain.

There are specific safety steps to take when driving in rain. They are:

1. Drive more slowly

If torrential rain is coming down, drive at a safe speed for the conditions – which may be less than the posted speed limit. Speed limits assume cloud-free skies and sun, and dry roads. You need to be able to stop safety if you need to suddenly, without hitting the car in front of you. Stopping safety on wet roads takes longer.

The rule of thumb: use 5 seconds of stopping distance between you and the car in front of you.

2. Use your lights

If you are driving in the rain, it is essentially that other cars see you. Visibility becomes more limited in the rain. Your headlights should be on at all times if you are driving in the rain.

Be sure, though, not to use your brights. They can blind or distract drivers in oncoming lanes, and make the roadways less safe.

3. Don’t use cruise control

Never use your cruise control during the rain and on wet roads when the rain has stopped. Why? Because the automatic speed may make hydroplaning more likely – and it definitely leads to a higher probability of you losing control of the car if you do hydroplane. (Hydroplaning is when your car skids on the water built up on the surface of the roads, and is especially likely if you’re going too fast.

4. If you do hydroplane, know how to get out of it

Some experts liken hydroplaning to water skiing on the roads. It’s easy to lose control of your vehicle if that occurs. If you begin to hydroplane, steer in the direction you’re going. It feels like a skid, but slowing gradually and steering in the direction you want to go will bring it around.

If You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

Our region has been buffeted by weather that is causing a number of accidents, such as rain, fire, mudslides, and even snow.

If you or a loved one has been in a weather-related accident in the Los Angeles area, consult the experienced car accident attorneys at the Ellis Law Firm today. The initial consultation is free.  Our number is 310-641-3335.

We have been fighting for the rights of the injured for over two decades. We work to see that justice is done.

Additional Resources:

  1. “1 Killed, 4 Injured In 6-Car Pile-Up on Rain-Slick Roads in Hollywood.” CBS Los Angeles. January 12, 2019. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/01/12/massive-crash-101-fatal/
  2. Safe driving in heavy rain. Geico. March 11, 2016. https://www.geico.com/more/driving/auto/car-safety-insurance/safe-driving-in-heavy-rain/.

Soulja Boy Involved in Mudslide-Related Car Accident

Flooded road in San Mateo County, California February 2017

Rapper and record producer Soulja Boy was recently involved in a frightening car accident caused by mudslides in California. The accident happened on Saturday, January 5, when torrential downpours swept southern California just before the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles. Few details about the accident are available; however, it appears that Soulja Boy was uninjured.

The rapper tweeted that his car got stuck in the mudslide and “almost went into the ocean.” Later, he explained that his car was still stuck in the flood/mudslide, but that he’s just thankful to be alive. “I don’t care about the car it’s materialistic, you can’t take it with you when you’re gone,” said Soulja Boy on his Instagram page.

Safety precautions pertaining to the flash flood and mudslides

The City of Malibu published several safety warnings on its website in the wake of the flash floods. Residents and motorists were urged to exercise caution. They were warned to watch out for mud, rocks, and debris cluttering the roadways, particularly in the canyon and burn areas. Part of the Pacific Coast Highway was closed to traffic because of the flooding, and part of Mulholland Highway was closed because of the mudslides.

The risks of flash floods and mudslides

As Soulja Boy’s car accident demonstrated, a vehicle can get swept up in the debris of a mudslide in a mere matter of seconds. Flash floods are more likely to cause mudslides in areas that have been affected by wildfires or extensive construction. Other at-risk areas include the following:

  • Areas with a prior history of landslides
  • Channels along rivers and streams
  • Areas subjected to surface runoff (i.e. flash floods)
  • Steep slopes (including areas at the bottom of canyons and slopes)

Landslides and mudslides can cause injury in a number of ways. Injuries may be inflicted directly by the rapidly moving debris. Injuries and illnesses can also occur due to broken electrical, gas, water, and sewage lines that may be swept up in the mudslide. Further complicating the problem is the disruption to local transportation, which may affect the movement of patients to nearby hospitals.

California residents are strongly urged to stay aware of the risks of mudslides during periods of intense rain. Avoid driving or walking near areas that may be subjected to landslides, such as areas along the canyons. If you do become trapped in a mudslide, get out of the path of debris as quickly as possible, and then get to higher ground.

What to do if you’ve been injured in flooding or mudslides

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash due to heavy rains or mudslides, you need to take action right away to protect your legal rights. Other drivers may be held negligible for reckless actions, or municipalities may be at fault for defective design or maintenance of the roadways. Let the car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law put our extensive investigative resources to work on your behalf. Call us today at 888-744-0191 for your free case consultation. We never collect a fee unless we secure compensation for you.

Additional resources:

  1. People, Soulja Boy Involved in Car Accident Due to Southern California Mudslides: “My Car Got Stuck,” https://people.com/music/soulja-boy-car-accident-southern-california-mudslides/
  2. California Department of Public Health, Landslides and Mudslides, https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/EPO/Pages/BI_Natural-Disasters_Landslides-and-Mudslides.aspx

Santa Ana Motorcycle Crash Kills Two as Vehicles Catch Fire

Blue flasher on the police car at night.A motorcycle and a car collided in the early afternoon of January 2 in Santa Ana, killing both drivers. Both vehicles caught fire on impact. The motorcyclist, a 35-year-old man, was killed instantly. The driver of the car, a 40-year-old woman, was taken to an area hospital with critical injuries. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Speeding, Illegal Turn Possible Causes

Neighbors and relatives, including the woman’s son, tried in vain to put out the flames shortly after the crash. The victims’ names were not immediately released.

The accident happened at about 1:35 p.m. in Santa Ana, on Raitt Street near McFadden Avenue.  The driver of the car made an illegal U-turn and both vehicles collided, according to information from the Santa Ana Police Department. Witnesses say that the motorcycle was going very fast, and speculated that the car’s driver may have been made the turn because she was rushing to avoid street sweeping on Raitt Street.

Several witnesses made videos of the scene from their cell phones, including videos of residents trying to help and extinguish the flames.

Establishing the Cause of a Vehicle Collision

The accident was tragic. It illustrates, however, the importance of obeying traffic laws and safe driving regulations at all times. Laws exist to facilitate safe traffic conditions and safe driving.

While the exact cause of the Santa Ana collision has not yet been determined, it is possible to make general statements about the absolute necessity of acting in concert with the law. An illegal turn can put a vehicle in the path of an incoming vehicle or a vehicle whose driver may have no reason to expect a vehicle on the horizon.

Speeding not only can cause an accident, by making it impossible to stop in time, but can make the impact of a collision more deadly.

Motorcyclists are always at great risk when they collide with vehicles, because the drivers are relatively unprotected, even if they are wearing helmets.

Drivers can be found negligent in California courts if they are found to have made decisions that caused an accident or were against the law.

If You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

In collisions where one or both drivers may be at fault, it can be a prudent idea to consult an attorney. We can investigate and determine fault with experienced personnel, including forensic experts and licensed investigators. Our dedicated car accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of the injured for over 20 years.

If you or a loved one have been in a car or motorcycle crash in Southern California, called the experienced vehicle accident lawyers at the Ellis Law Firm today. The initial consultation is free. Our number is 310-641-3335.

Additional Resources:

  1. Chang, Hettie. Mother, Motorcyclist Die in Fiery Santa Ana Crash. NBC News Los Angeles. January 2, 2019. https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Mother-Motorcyclist-Die-in-Fiery-Santa-Ana-Crash-503834401.html.
  2. Lee, Greg. 2 killed in fiery Santa Ana crash involving motorcycle, car. ABC 7. January 2, 2019. https://abc7.com/2-killed-in-fiery-santa-ana-crash/5006330/.

Snow and Ice Snarls Traffic on Christmas on the 15 Freeway

Blue flasher on the police car at night.When people think of sunny southern California, they are not thinking of the more mountainous areas of the region. But the mountains can get snow and ice, and that was vividly illustrated by a 40-vehicle pile-up caused by ice and snow in the Cajon pass on Christmas Day.

Snow and ice make the roads treacherous

Apparently, a single vehicle spun out on the 15 Freeway near Hesperia at roughly 6:35 a.m. on December 25, according to information from the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Shortly thereafter, there was a chain reaction that ultimately caught up roughly 40 cars, trucks, and big rigs on the northbound 15 south of Oak Hill Road.

Snow and ice made the roads treacherous and difficult to navigate, according to drivers who were on the scene. Many took videos of the pileup.

The CHP indicated that 9 people had suffered moderate injuries and were taken to 3 separate area hospitals.

The 15 Freeway was shut down for about 3 hours. It had reopened by 10 a.m.

A winter weather advisory was in effect for the following day for the mountain systems of both Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

An Experienced Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

As the past month has shown, weather can cause car accidents. Wind gusts, torrential rains, fire, snow, and ice have all battered the Los Angeles area recently. While these conditions can cause injuries and loss of all kinds, it shouldn’t be overlooked that they can cause car accidents that could result in injury and death. Panic and driving in unfamiliar conditions can contribute to the accident.

We have two decades experience in investigating and litigating car accidents in Southern California. If you want to discuss your accident, call the car crash attorneys at Ellis Injury Law at 310-641-3335 today.

All initial consultations are free.

Additional Resources:

  1. “Dozens of Vehicles Involved In Pileup on Icy 15 Freeway Near Cajon Pass.” CBS Los Angeles. December 25, 2018. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/12/25/chain-reaction-wreck-15-freeway-cajon-pass/.
  2. Licas, Eric. “Multi-vehicle crash along icy Cajon pass snarls traffic in Hesperia.” The Press-Enterprise. December 25, 2018. https://www.pe.com/2018/12/25/multi-vehicle-crash-along-icy-cajon-pass-snarls-motorists-in-hesperia/.

Third Annual LATLC Holiday Turkey & Toy Giveaway Was a Huge Success

On Sunday, December 9, the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities (LATLC) Holiday Turkey & Toy Giveaway, a local event to help families in need during the holiday season, was a tremendous success, with nearly 500 turkeys and almost 500,000 toys given away.

The Holiday Turkey & Toy Giveaway was an all-day event at the Broadway Corridor and the New Prospect Baptist Church, 10910 South Broadway in Los Angeles. Approximately 2,500 guests attended.

Andy Ellis of the Ellis Law Corporation is a board member of LATLC, which put on the event. More than 100 trial lawyer volunteers distributed the turkey dinners and toys on December 9, joining with California elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as community leaders.

Many partners came together for a glorious day of giving!

LATLC also partnered with the Los Angeles Police Department South East Division, the Los Angeles Fire Department, and the Los Angeles City Council 8th District, as well as Councilperson Marqueece Dawson-Williams and Pastor E.L. Williams of the New Prospect Baptist Church.

All worked to make the Holiday Turkey & Toy Giveaway a special day in the community.

 

Building on a festive tradition

The event this year builds on a tradition begun by LATLC in 2016. Past President Minh Nguyen and Honorary Board of Governors Member PJ Javaheri formed a committee and partnerships that kicked off the event that year and have continued it every year since.

Check out some more photos of the fun below!

Winter Storm Diego Turns Deadly

Flooded road in San Mateo County, California February 2017Just as we started to rebound from hellish wildfires, Californians are hit with winter storm Diego’s heavy rain and snowfall, causing mudslides, rock slides, plane crashes, overturned motor vehicles, and deadly devastation. During these freakish events of Mother Nature, we rely upon our local governments, transportation companies, and disaster relief crews to protect us from undue harm. If there was a breach of duty somewhere, rest assured we know about it!

The Los Angeles attorneys at Ellis Injury Law Firm are standing by to assist people who have been harmed by weather-related damage where negligence may be a factor. The cross-country storm is predicted to go into early next week, so we remain on heightened alert for developing news stories in Southern California.

Thursday Weather-Related Incidents in California

  • One person was killed yesterday after a motor vehicle flipped on I-5 during rainy conditions in Burbank.
  • A Southwest Airlines plane carrying 112 passengers and five crew members skidded to a sudden stop off the rain-soaked runway during the torrential downpour yesterday, with no immediate injuries reported.
  • Grapevine’s Frazier Park area was under a snowfall warning.
  • Flash floods impacted Hart Park in OC.
  • Cars were trapped by mudslides in the Sepulveda Basin.
  • Thunderstorms hit the Canyon fire area, putting residents on high alert.
  • A mudslide hit 170 East in Victory.
  • There was a 13-vehicle pile-up on the 10 Freeway in Riverside.

Friday’s Winter Storm Diego Developments

  • At 9 last night, heavy rainfall caused a collapsed roof at the Homeroom Hourly Child Care Center in San Diego.
  • A six-vehicle pile-up caused major traffic snarls on Interstate 80 in Berkeley at 11:30 a.m. this morning.
  • Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for Trabuco Canyon in OC and the Lake Elsinore area east of LA.
  • A debris flow took out a guardrail and a narrow bridge in Trabuco Creek this morning.
  • Crews were still working to clean up the Malibu mudslide, which shut down the Pacific Coast Highway for hours.
  • The flash flood warning for inland OC has been extended.
  • A cross-country skier fell through the ice and was rescued from Roseville Lake last night.
  • The famous P-64 “Culvert Cat” cougar was found dead, with badly burned paws from the Woolsey Fire.

Are Weather-Related Evacuations, Accidents, and Deaths Inevitable in California?

California seems subject to cascading events, with one natural disaster intensifying the next. Are costly and deadly catastrophes like wildfires, floods, and landslides simply in our future? Or can something be done? Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Farshid Vahedifard says it’s up to decision-makers, urban planners, risk analysts, and civil engineers to invest more time and effort in tracking connections between natural disasters under a changing climate. Since 1980, we’ve seen nearly 10,000 deaths related to natural disasters in the United States. What we do know is that deforestation and flooding often happen together. Week-long heatwaves and droughts are linked to wildfires. Early snow and ice melting extends the wildfire season. Temperature fluctuations harm infrastructure like dams and levees. Hurricanes trigger debris flows, landslides, and flooding. Area leaders must be more proactive in their risk assessment of the regions they are in-charge of, investing in infrastructure, denying building permits for vulnerable zones, and promptly evacuating areas under threat.

If you or a loved one were recently involved in an “accident” that seemed preventable, there is no harm in contacting a Los Angeles personal injury attorney to find out if known hazards were left unattended, either directly or indirectly causing your injuries. It costs nothing for your free consultation.

Hundreds of Crashes Occur in Los Angeles Area Due to Heavy Rains

rain on windshieldLast week’s storm system and heavy rains hit southern California hard, causing an extraordinarily high number of traffic accidents. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), an astonishing 365 accidents were reported in Los Angeles County between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 29, more than four times as many as occur when conditions are not wet.

The high number of accidents were undoubtedly exacerbated by the rain-wet roads, the fact that many residents of the Los Angeles area are not used to driving in heavy rain, and the timing of the storm, which hit during peak commuter hours.

If you crashed during the heavy rains in southern California last week, may sure you take full advantage of the compensation that is owed to you for damages, losses, medical bills and lost work time. Call an experienced LA car accident lawyer at Ellis Law Corporation today!

Truck accidents caused extensive road closings

The CHP and local police issued multiple bulletins throughout the day on Twitter and other social media, reminding drivers that wet conditions don’t cause accidents – how people drive in wet conditions do. Motorists were urged to drive slowly, use their lights and wipers, and be extremely cautious vis-à-vis other drivers.

In addition to rain, the storm also brought higher than normal gusts of wind.

As accidents piled up, including accidents with big rigs, which can extend across lanes, roads closed on the 101, 118 and 134 for periods of time.

Rain Causes Mud Slides in Fire-Ravaged Districts

Throughout California, the rain and wind storm complicated the effects of recent devastating fires. Once land is burned, there is no longer vegetation to hold the land in place, and drenched earth can become a mudslide or flow of debris very easily.

Unfortunately, debris flows and mudslides occurred all over the Southland, trapping motorists and endangering residents. Roads were closed and residents ordered to evacuate in parts of Malibu. Debris flows were reported in Orange and Riverside counties. Schools were closed and residents had to be evacuated.

Mud and debris also were feared to contain potential health problems. State and local health officials urged residents to avoid beach water. Because of the runoff from fire debris and mudslides, the water could be filled with chemicals, bacteria, debris, trash, and other substances dangerous to public health.

A mudslide covered several vehicles in San Bernardino County and caused CHP to close certain portions of Highway 38.

In San Bernardino County’s Forest Falls, vehicles were trapped by a mudslide, prompting the California Highway Patrol to close Highway 38 between Sugar Pine Circle and Valley of the Falls Drive. In the Santa Barbara area, coin-sized hail was reported.

Did You Crash During the Heavy Rains in Los Angeles? Call Ellis Law Corporation

Rain, wind, fire debris, and mudslides caused hundreds of car accidents in our area recently. If you or someone close to you has been involved in one of these accidents in the Los Angeles area, attorneys at Ellis Law Corporation can help. We have been successfully fighting for the rights of people injured in car accidents in southern California for more than 20 years. You can trust in our track record: We win 99% of the cases we take on!

Contact us today for a free appointment at 310-641-3335.

Additional Resources:

  1. “365 accidents reported in 4-hour period during rain-soaked morning commute in SoCal.” ABC7. November 29, 2018. https://abc7.com/traffic/365-accidents-reported-in-4-hour-period-during-socal-storm/4794475/.
  2. Associated Press. “The Latest: Mudslide Prompts Evacuation Order in Malibu.” S. News and World Report. November 29, 2018. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2018-11-29/the-latest-rain-causes-wrecks-on-los-angeles-area-freeways.
  3. Fry, Hannah and Alene Tchekmedyian. “Rain triggers debris flows as storm rolls across fire-scarred regions of California.” Los Angeles Times. November 29, 2018. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2018-11-29/the-latest-rain-causes-wrecks-on-los-angeles-area-freeways.
  4. Rice, Doyle. “It’s Raining in Los Angeles, and People Are Freaking Out!” November 29, 2018. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2018-11-29/the-latest-rain-causes-wrecks-on-los-angeles-area-freeways.