Michael James Lewis killed in Santa Maria accident

Posted: May 18, 2022

SANTA MARIA, CA (May 12, 2022) – Michael James Lewis, 68, of Nipomo was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Monday, and the California Highway Patrol were asking for the public’s assistance in finding the suspect. 

Police later found and arrested 20-year-old Marcos Salazar.

Salazar, in a 2007 Nissan 350Z, collided with Michael James Lewis in his 2002 Honda CRV heading northbound on Highway 101 around 9:45 a.m. The Nissan made a dangerous lane change and crashed into the Honda, causing the SUV to flip over multiple times before landing over the median.

Lewis, driving the Honda, was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

Liability In Santa Maria Car Accidents

Despite improved safety measures for cars, motor vehicle accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and death in the United States.  According to the CDC, “more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured each year from motor vehicle crashes.” There are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to a car accident including:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Inclement weather
  • Dangerous turns
  • Poorly designed roadways

All drivers have a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid causing accidents. This is especially true for commercial drivers that work for a city. A number of collisions are due to drivers that make dangerous left turns. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 21801, the driver of any vehicle intending to turn left must yield the right of way traveling from the opposite direction close enough to pose a hazard.

If a negligent driver worked for a city, that city could potentially be liable in the event of an accident. Generally speaking, employers are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. There are a number of steps that should be taken after a car accident.

  • Photos of the accident site should be taken.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • A thorough independent investigation should be conducted.

The family of any victim that has died in a car accident may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. It is essential that evidence is properly preserved after a car accident. A car accident attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A Santa Maria Car Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of the victim in this case. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to the police. A thorough investigation must be conducted for the sake of all who have lost so much.

Do you need more information about a Santa Maria car accident? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that negligent drivers are held to account for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 395-7234.

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