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Toddler dies, teen critically hurt in California truck crash

A driver suddenly pulls in front of your car and forces you to slam on the brakes. Your quick action prevents a crash, while the other driver is oblivious to your effort. It takes an accident, an injury or someone's death for some negligent Los Angeles drivers to realize how thoughtless they are.

California Highway Patrol reported that a fatal accident in the Santa Monica McClure Tunnel was caused by a Panorama City truck driver who was going too fast. The 23-year-old driver sped into a curve and hit the brakes. The 18-wheeler struck the side of a Honda minivan carrying a Las Vegas family of seven – two parents with five children, ages 2 to 17.

CBS Los Angeles reported the Honda driver, a 42-year-old father taking his family to the beach, said the minivan was trapped between the tractor-trailer and a dump truck. The youngest child in the van, a 2-year-old boy, died in the truck accident. The oldest child, a 17-year-old boy, suffered a severe neck fracture; the parents and the remaining three children – ages 4, 12 and 15 -- had minor to moderate injuries.

As CHP continued to investigate, the Santa Monica Firefighters Association sought to help the family by opening a fund. The firefighters donated the first $1,000.

Driver error may not be the only reason for a truck crash. Mechanical failure can be due to maintenance neglect by a driver, vehicle servicer or employer. Cargos may be overweight or loaded incorrectly causing instability.

An unqualified truck driver may be at fault. An accident also may be due to distraction or intoxication. Each possibility is examined carefully during law enforcement and independent investigations.

Multiple defendants may be involved in liability claims for accident injuries and deaths. Compensation is available from one or more parties for injured victims and families who've suffered the loss of a loved one.

Source: Santa Monica Observed, "2-year-old boy killed, 6 injured in SM Crash; Firefighters Association Establishes Fund for Family" No author given, Jun. 02, 201 

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