Justine Jackson Redding, Jude Lowdermilk Redding : Justine Jackson, Jude Lowdermilk Injured In Redding Car Accident After Deputy Hit A Deer On Highway 299 near Lower Springs Road
REDDING, CALIFORNIA (November 8, 2019) – A 20-year-old woman identified as Justine Jackson and a 2-year-old infant identified as Jude Lowdermilk were seriously injured in a car accident with a CHP officer that killed a third unidentified male passenger on Highway 299 near Lower Springs Road.
California Highway Patrol are saying that the accident took place around 8:05 p.m. in Redding. A 30-year-old Shasta County sheriff’s deputy was traveling west on Highway 299.
The deputy collided with a deer in the road causing him to loose control of his vehicle. His patrol car collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla carrying Justine Jackson, Jude Lowdermilk and a male passenger.
The Toyota caught fire with the passengers still inside. Justine Jackson and Jude Lowdermilk both survived the accident with major injuries and had to be taken to the Mercy Medical Center.
Tragically, the male passenger in the car died due to his injuries. The CHP patrol vehicle that hit the deer ended upside down in a ravine. An investigation into the deadly car accident on Highway 299 remains ongoing.
Liability In Redding Car Accidents With Police Vehicles
Car accidents with wild animals may seem like a freak occurrence but they are actually fairly common. According to the Culture of Safety, “There are approximately 1.5 million deer-related car accidents annually. There are around 175-200 fatalities every year and 10,000 injuries. The majority of these accidents occur between October and December, but can happen year round.” There are a number of safety measures that can help prevent or mitigate collisions with deer including:
- Not swerving. It can be a natural instinct for a driver to swerve to avoid hitting deer. But this is actually the most dangerous thing to do. Swerving can lead to head-on collisions, rollovers or collisions with fixed objects. It’s much safer to take your foot off the accelerator and break if necessary.
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs. These signs are typically place in areas known to have a high concentration of deer crossings.
- Know when deer are present. Deer are most active at dusk and during the evening. Most accidents tend to happen between 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Be especially vigilant during this period.
- Use your high beams when possible. High beams can be used to help spot deer in the road or near the road.
There are a number of potential sources of liability for car accidents involving deer. Police officers have a legal obligation to drive according to the prevailing conditions of the road. According to California Vehicle Code 22350, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” This means driving more slowly at night and during times of reduced visibility.
If a police officer failed to operate their vehicle safe enough to avoid hitting a dear the city or county that they work for may face civil liability. Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior counties are generally liable for the negligent conduct of their employees – insofar as those employees are working within the course and scope of their job duties. In some circumstances liability for an accident with a CHP vehicle may extend beyond the at fault driver.
Depending on the facts of any case, a municipal agency may face civil liability for failing to take adequate measures to prevent wild animals from wandering on certain portions of a road. This was the unanimous ruling of the Arizona Court of Appeals. In Booth v. State of Arizona, Jerry Booth was seriously injured after hitting an elk on Interstate 40. Attorneys for Jerry Booth successfully argued that portions of Interstate 40 were unreasonably safe due to a lack of safety measures to prevent collisions with elk. State agencies failed to act even though there was a high number of car accidents involving elk on a particular stretch of the highway. These safety measures were absent on the road in question even though they were present on nearby highways.
A car company could be liable for a vehicle catching fire if it was caused by design defects with the vehicle itself. In Anderson V. General Motors Corporation, a jury found General Motors liable for a car fire that seriously injured multiple plaintiffs. The jury concluded that General Motors prioritized cost savings over a different design that could have prevented the plaintiffs car from catching fire. Victims of car accidents and their families are protected by a number of laws.
Any person that is injured in a car accident may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a car accident can help cover lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses and pain and suffering. It’s important that evidence is collected and preserved after an accident. Unfortunately, police departments will often fight hard to deny liability for accidents involving their officers. A car accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal rights are.
Investigating A Redding Car Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of the victim who died in this accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Justine Jackson and Jude Lowdermilk as they continue to recover. Any person that may have seen the accident should reach out to the Redding police department at (530) 225-4200 as they continue their investigation. It is our sincere hope that county officials examine this stretch of road and implement measures to make it safer.
If you or someone that you care about has been involved in a car accident with a CHP vehicle you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that proactive measures are taken to make our roads safer. Whether you just have questions about the law or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.