Archive for the ‘utah fatal car accident’ Category

One Man Dies and another is Injured in Ogden, Utah Car Crash

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Joseph M. Barela, 19, from Ogden, Utah, died on March 14, 2010 from an alcohol-related car crash. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Barela was driving a blue 1995 Chevy Cavalier when he veered off 12th Street at around 4 in the morning in Ogden, Utah. Barela was speeding at the time of the accident. His car crossed into the westbound lane, jumped the curb and went into a grove of trees before eventually hitting the rock wall in front of a house. A 20-year-old man from Ogden, Utah who was a passenger in the car, crawled out the window to ask for help at the house. The car burst into flames and the passenger ran back to the car to pull Barela out of his seat. Unfortunately, Barela died at the scene. The passenger was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital Center for treatment.

I wish the family of young Joseph Barela the very best as they are cope with this tragic loss. It appears the passenger was treated and released; I wish him well as he recovers in the coming weeks.

Liability appears to lie with the driver, Joseph Barela. The initial reports indicate that Barela may was driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol inhibits our senses making driving extremely difficult. Drunk driving leads to serious lapses in judgment, lapses that are magnified on the road. The slightest obstacle can present a serious problem to a drunk driver. Alcohol causes slower reaction time, decreased perception ability, and a tendency to be overconfident with your driving. All of these outcomes put the driver, passenger, and everyone else on the road in serious danger.

In this case, the passenger has a claim against the car’s insurance. This claim will help him cover medical bills associated with the crash, recover lost wages and compensate for pain and suffering. I recommend that the passenger of the vehicle contact an experienced Ogden, Utah personal injury attorney who will help him explore all legal avenues available.

Driver On Drugs Gets Year in Jail for Fatal Utah Car Accident

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Thirty-one-year-old, Daniel Martin Long, was charged with second-degree felony automobile homicide and third degree unlawful possession of a controlled substance, following a fatal Utah crash that killed 23-year-old Nathan Barlow, on April 21, 2007.. Martin was under the influence of a prescription drug when he rear-ended the bakery delivery truck driven by Nathan Barlow on Interstate 15 near 2300 North in Salt Lake City, Utah. Barlow died when his truck swerved off the road and rolled several times. Long who was not injured, told the Utah Highway Patrol that he had dozed off, but witnesses told UHP that Long was traveling around 100 mph just before the crash, and was swerving to avoid traffic.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, UHP determined he was under the influence of a central nervous system depressant and State Troopers found two Valium pills in Long’s pocket.

Third District Judge Robert Faust, ordered Long to serve a one-year jail sentence and complete a 36 month probation period. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Long must write a letter of apology to the victim’s family and get therapy ordered by probation officers.

Central nervous system prescription drugs like Valium impair a driver’s judgment just like alcohol. This is a terrible tragedy for Nathan Barlow’s family. If they have not already done so, I recommend that they contact an experienced Utah wrongful death attorney who can help them receive compensation for their loss. Long’s insurance company is responsible to pay the damages. Also, since he was working at the time of the fatal car accident, the policy of the bread company can also be used. The statute of limitations in a case like this is four years

What is Zero Fatalities?

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I’m sure you’ve seen the TV ads or heard the radio announcements for Zero Fatalities and you may be wondering what exactly it is. Zero fatalities is a nationwide effort that addresses the top behaviors that are killing people on America’s roads. The program was actually originally launched in Utah by the Utah Department of Public Safety, since then, officials in many states have asked to use the ads, flyers and artwork to launch the campaign in their individual states. Topics covered include drowsy driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, driving without wearing a seat belt and impaired driving. The program is designed to convince all drivers that Zero Fatalities is the number of traffic related deaths our country should strive for.

Zero Fatalities is looking to change the mind-set that traffic fatalities are inevitable. Really, traffic fatalities are often preventable if we make some minor changes in the way we drive. Zero Fatalities attempts to influence each individual driver to make minor adjustments so Utah roads will become safer as a whole. Their slogan, “A goal we can all live with” is present in every TV or radio advertisement.

Is it Working?

Statistics say yes! Zero Fatalities is working. According to UDOT, Traffic fatalities are down 28%. As of November 30, there have been 230 traffic fatalities in 2009. That number is down from the 254 reported during that same time frame in 2008.

I echo the principles of the Zero Fatalities campaign: small changes in the way we drive can make Utah roads a little safer.

Pregnant Woman Dies in Utah Auto Crash

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

A 28-year-old pregnant woman from Califonia died in Utah on Tuesday, November 11, 2009 when the semi-truck she was riding in crashed. This Utah trucking accident happened at around 3 p.m. on the ramp to eastbound Interstate 84 from Interstate 15.

According to, the semi-truck was carrying apples and rolled over on the bridge. “The driver was not injured,” said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Cameron Roden. “But we did have a female passenger who was ejected that is deceased.” According to the investigation, the pregnant woman, Martha Pichardo, was thrown from the sleeper of the truck. Martha was the wife of the semi driver.

Speed appears to be a factor in the crash. The driver could not make the turn and flipped the truck over the side. The driver reported that he felt the truck jump or lift from the left lane into the right and the trailer started to weave. The driver attempted to brake but lost control of the vehicle. The semi flipped onto the passenger side onto concrete barriers where it slid and came to a rest blocking both traffic lanes.

Mrs. Pichardo’s body was found under the semi truck, against the concrete barrier. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was taken to Ogden Regional with minor injuries.

My thoughts and prayers are with this family. Mr. Pichardo is undoubtably experiencing great heartache from the loss of his wife.

In a difficult situation like this, it could be hard to think about the potential legal claims that could be made. However, in this situation, the family of Martha Pichardo may wish to consider a claim against the insurance company that insures the truck. Every day, injured spouses make claims against insurance companies for driving errors made by their significant others. It’s nothing personal, because most of these claims are resolved between the injured party and the insurance companies, without needing to file anything.

The persons who would be able to make such a claim in this circumstance could be limited, since the spouse who was driving may be excluded from making a claim. If this is the case, under Utah law, Ms. Pichardo’s parents and/or children may be able to make such a claim. In Utah, there is a two-year window to do this.

A bigger question in this case, however, may be whether this road is unreasonably unsafe. From reading this story, it sounds like other have had problems with this very same ramp. There was some discussion about improving the signage to warn of this sharp turn, but it is unclear if UDOT ever did this. If they knew about this problem through past accidents and did nothing to improve the warning to motorists, then there may be a claim against UDOT as well as the truck insurance policy. I would recommend that the family contact and experienced Utah accident and injury lawyer who can help them explore all legal remedies available during this difficult time.

Tragic Utah Car Accident Kills 4 Teenagers

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

4 Teens are dead following a single-car crash a few miles east of Soldier Summit in Utah on August 30, 2009. According to KSL news, a 13-year old Payson, Utah girl did not tell her parents she was leaving and snuck away in the middle of the night with three older boys to take a ride in the mountains. All the teenagers are from Utah County, Utah.

The Utah auto accident occurred on a country road called Emma Park Road. At around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, the 16-year old driver attempted to speed around a turn. He skidded sideways toward a concrete barrier going 95 miles an hour. The crash was extremely violent, evidenced by the damage done to the vehicle and the damage caused to the cracked cement barrier.

“It appears that the vehicle catapulted over the barrier, flipped over maybe one time, landed on the passenger side,” said Utah County Sgt. Spencer Cannon.  The driver crawled out of the car a few feet onto the street; the other three were killed on impact. The victims have been identified as 16-year-old Jose Flores (the driver), 16-year-old Mario Lopez, 19-year-old Manuel Guttierez and 13-year-old Vanessa Estrada. There is no evidence to suggest alcohol or drugs were involved.

This is a tragic Utah car accident that claimed the lives of 4 young Utah residents. I offer condolences to their families.

Parents, do you know who your kids hang out with ? Do you allow them to be passengers in vehicles driven by under-aged drivers? On the last point, parents (and I’m in this category), need to be very careful as to who they will allow to drive their children around. A car full of teenagers and an inexperienced and irresponsible driver are a recipe for disaster. I know in this case that the parents of at least one of the children were unaware that their child was out in the middle of the night joyriding with friends. Sometimes you can’t prevent this type of situation from happening if the child has it in his or her mind that they want to go out. However, conversations with our children ahead of time as to who they are allowed to drive with, including the minimum age the driver must be, can go along way to make sure our teenage children stay safe.

Car Accident Near Wellington, Utah, Takes Provo Woman’s Life

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Authorities blame driving drowsy for a rollover on State Road 6 that claimed the life of a Provo Woman. The Utah car accident occurred on Saturday July 25, 2009. According to the Utah Highway Patrol and KSL news, the driver of a Nissan was headed west near Wellington just after 12:30 a.m. He started to fall asleep, drifted into oncoming traffic and swerved off the road into an embankment. The passenger in the backseat, 24-year-old Deanne Jones was killed instantly.

The driver was taken to Castleview Hospital with minor injuries.

I offer my condolences to the Jones family as they mourn this loss.

Fatal Auto Accident at Mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon

Monday, April 13th, 2009

A fatal auto accident near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon tragically took the life of a 71-year-old Salt Lake City man. The accident took place Saturday at about 4:30 pm north of Wasatch Boulevard, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. Cottonwood Heights police Sgt. Mark Askerlund said the man was driving northbound in a floral delivery van when a SUV driving southbound went across the road’s center lines near 6900 South, striking the van on the driver’s side. The van’s driver was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the SUV was flown to Intermountain Medical Center and remains in critical condition. Police continue investigate the accident.

Several Auto Accidents in Utah County: One Fatal

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Traffic was slow Friday evening as several auto accidents clogged Utah’s freeways. The most recent accident occurred near the University Parkway in Provo reports KSL News. Utah Highway Patrol troopers say the driver of a pickup truck did not see slowing traffic in front of him, by the time he noticed it was to late. The truck hit the vehicle in front of him causing a chain reaction with vehicles whose drivers did not have time to react to the crash in front. One person was flown to a nearby hospital; all others received only minor injuries.

A few miles south, at mile marker 261, a fatal auto accident occurred near the Springville exit. Three adults and two children were traveling in the car when it rolled out of control. UHP troopers say a 50-year old woman died in the crash, and all others in the vehicle were injured. The children, ages 5 and 7, were rushed to Primary Children’s Medical Center for treatment. The crash is currently under investigation, the cause is yet to be determined. We wish a full recovery to the young children involved in this accident.