Palmdale Car Crash Kills Family of 4 | Ellis Injury Law

Palmdale Car Crash Kills Family of 4

emergency vehicles

July 10, 2018

Ellis Law Corporation


The relatives of LeiLei Cathey-Barnes, her spouse and their two small children are grieving their tragic loss after the family of four was killed in a freeway crash in Palmdale last Tuesday. Firefighters from Los Angeles County responded to the accident near N. Sierra Highway just after 10 a.m. Victims of the fatal traffic collision were on their way to a 4th of July picnic, when their green Kia sedan crashed into an Antelope Valley Authority Transit Van.

Detective Rowell Quemuel of the LA Sheriff’s Department told KTLA that the family was traveling north on Sierra Highway when – for reasons still unknown – the driver swerved over the median divider and into the path of the vanpool vehicle. Given the speed involved, there was no way the van could void T-boning the Kia sedan, say authorities, who are still investigating the cause of the fatal crash.

Family en route to 4th of July picnic

The sheer force of the impact killed three of the family members instantly, and none were ejected from the vehicle. The father, mother and their 2-year old daughter, who was fastened in a car seat, all died at the accident scene. The second daughter, age 1, was taken to a nearby hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The family hailed from the nearby town of Hesperia.

The driver of the transit van was also given medical treatment for injuries that were not life-threatening. Officials are investigating skid marks and other details to determine if excessive speed was a factor in accident.

Friends and relatives are still in shock over the loss of their loved ones. “They did everything right, following the rules and something just tragic happened,” the grandmother of the two little girls, told NBC News.

As the public waits for answers about crash, The Ellis Law Firm offers their heart-felt sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

Wrongful death actions and liability issues

When a loved one is killed in a traffic accident due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, the family of the deceased may sue for damages under California law with the help of a personal injury attorney.  While no amount of money will replace a loved one or erase the pain, financial burdens caused by the sudden death of a family member can be crushing to those left behind.

The state of California allows a surviving spouse, domestic partner or children of the deceased to file a wrongful death action. These civil claims can seek money damages to cover funeral costs, compensation the deceased would have earned, as well as damages for intangible losses like support, care and guidance.

The following are some common scenarios of fatal car crashes that could give rise to a wrongful death claim:

  • A couple is broadsided and killed by a teenaged driver who is texting at the time of the accident
  • An intoxicated driver blows through a red light and kills a crossing pedestrian
  • A truck driver, under the influence of narcotics, falls asleep at the wheel and jackknifes his rig, causing a deadly multi-car pile up

Relatives and those who were financially dependent on the deceased have two years from the date of death to file their claim in court.

Legal advocates in California

There is no panacea for the senseless loss of a loved one, but the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Ellis Law are here to ensure justice is served and responsible parties are held accountable. Our award-winning car accident lawyers serve the greater Los Angeles area, with 20 office locations in California. Arrange a free consultation today with a skilled personal injury lawyer by calling 310-641-3335.

Additional Resources on the Palmdale Crash:

  1. NBC Los Angeles, Where Do You Pick Up the Pieces?’ Family of Four, Including Toddler Girls, Killed in Head-On Crash
  2. ABC News 7, 4 family members killed in crash on Sierra Highway in Palmdale
  3. KTLA, Family of 4, Including 2 Young Girls, Killed in Palmdale Car Crash