Two teenagers were killed after a subcontractor for the California Department of Transportation lost control of a cement truck in the Cajon Pass on the 15 Freeway. The fatal accident around 11:30 p.m. on June 24 near the Highway 138 exit. According to the news source, the truck driver was leaving a construction site with wet cement when it did not stop at an intersection, which led to the crash.
The cement truck slammed into a PT Cruiser that was going west on Highway 138. The PT Cruiser was propelled into a drainage ditch, then into barriers outside of a gas station before the dump truck landed on top of it. A sergeant with the California Highway Patrol said the exact cause of the crash was under investigation as of June 26. While speaking with the news source, the sergeant said, ‘The truck was unable to stop at the stop sign.” Authorities were trying to determine if there was a mechanical issue with the truck at time of the wreck.
The 54-year-old truck driver was not injured in the collision, but firefighters spent hours working to remove the victims from the PT cruiser. The 18-year-old driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, as was a 16-year-old passenger. The three surviving victims were hospitalized with serious injuries.
Regardless of whether or not a mechanical failure is determined to be the cause of the crash, the injured victims and families of those killed in the PT Cruiser will likely have grounds to file civil suits against one of two entities. If the police investigation points toward driver error as having caused the crash, then those parties would likely sue the operator of the cement truck. The discovery of a mechanical failure could lead to the victims and families taking the driver’s employer to court.
Source: ABC 7, “Cement truck loses control, lands on top of car in Cajon Pass ; 3 killed “, Darsha Philips and Rob McMillan, June 26, 2014