GIRARDI| KEESE Law Firm Files Claims in Fatal Cajon Pass Accident

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Los Angeles "Superlawyers" law firm files claims against Caltrans for Off-Ramp Collision

"Effective safety measures could have prevented this tragic accident."

The GIRARDI | KEESE Law firm filed damages claims against Caltrans on behalf of John Anthony Cabrera Jr., and the whole Cabrera family. Cabrera,16, fondly known as John John, was one of five classmates in a PT Cruiser that, according to court documents, was struck by a dump truck that traveled down an interstate off-ramp and ran a stop sign. Cabrera was one of two tragic deaths in this accident. The Cabrera family claims are in excess of 40 million dollars.

Court documents list the injuries of surviving passengers Michael Patrick Baker, 20, and Shayne Gretzner, 20, as extensive orthopedic, neurological injury, emotional distress and PTSD; specifically, Baker suffered crushing injuries, rhabdomyolysis, abrasions, lacerations and back injuries, and in addition to contusions, Gretzner's ribs, knee, and spine were injured. The Baker family claims are in excess of 10 million dollars, as are the claims of the Gretzners, plus additional family claims are pending. Baker and Gretzner are represented by GIRARDI | KEESE.

In the near-midnight accident on June 24th, a Samms Enterprises, Inc.-owned dump truck, according to court documents, ran a stop sign, and struck the PT Cruiser that was traveling west on State Route 138, killing Cabrera and driver Nicole Brittney Lyle, 18. Although the three surviving passengers suffered severe harm, the truck driver, Sonja A. Meeks (AKA Sonja Aida Morris Meeks) who was working at a local CALTRANS construction project as an agent of the California Department of Transportation at the time of this incident, was unhurt.

At the accident location, no measures existed to disperse the kinetic energy of an out-of-control vehicle. The claim calls for a highway redesign with specific improvements that include appropriate signage, guard rails, roadside recovery areas, wider lanes and other features to help prevent reoccurrence because the existing dangerous conditions are not alleviated by protective safety measures such as "arrestor beds, gravity escape ramps, sand pile escape ramps, or mechanical arrestor escape ramps."

As the intersection of the southbound I-15 off-ramp at State Route 138 in Phelan, San Bernardino County, California has been the site of prior accidents, the families believe this accident is a wake-up call to add crucial roadway safety features. GIRARDI | KEESE's David R. Lira confirms that "Runaway trucks like the one at this location are a common occurrence on steep highways. There are designs and devices which could have prevented this tragedy. Sadly, at this intersection, witnesses have confirmed numerous similar instances of runaway vehicles with deadly consequences."

Justice and safety are important goals for GIRARDI | KEESE attorneys. In fact, Tom Girardi has said that he is most proud of "…the work we do for our clients. No doubt about it. We have put together the greatest group of lawyers I’ve ever seen. And we all work our tails off to ensure everyone gets the justice they deserve."

The law firm of Girardi | Keese has successfully recovered in excess of three billion dollars on behalf of their clients. Thomas V. Girardi has been proclaimed "The Billion Dollar Gentleman" by the Los Angeles Daily Journal for having achieved over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements over a two-year period.

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George Hatcher
Air Crash Consultants, Inc.
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