Young family perishes when car tumbles from SR-18 on way to church event in Big Bear
Wrongful Death
Dangerous Condition of Public Property
San Bernardino Superior Court

Our client in this tragic wrongful death case was the surviving mother and grandmother of a 25 year old son and two grandchildren, ages 3 years and 10 months, who perished when their vehicle left State Route 18 in the San Bernardino Mountains enroute to a church retreat near Big Bear Lake, and tumbled several hundred feet down the mountainside.

We contended in this case that Caltrans caused the accident by configuring SR 18 with lanes that were too narrow and likely resulted in a conflict between the vehicle of the decedents and another car on a curving portion of the so-called “Rim of the World Highway”. We  further contended that Caltrans failed to provide a necessary embankment guardrail which would have prevented the vehicle of this young family from tumbling down the steep mountainside.  A guardrail was installed after this crash and prior to trial.  Trial testimony of a Caltrans engineer “opened the door” and lead to the admission into evidence of photos of the new guardrail.

Our client sought non-economic damages only for the loss of care, comfort, affection, etc. of her son and grandchildren.