Friday, May 10th, four people died in a North County San Diego car crash on state Route 76 near Fallbrook. According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials, the collision happened around 11:20 pm, just east of Horse Ranch Creek Road. 

Fatal Three-Car Crash Near Fallbrook Leaves Four DeadThe collision involved three vehicles, a silver Chrysler 300, a white Jeep Gladiator, and a silver Toyota Camry. The driver of the Chrysler was driving east on SR-76 when he suddenly swerved into the westbound lanes where he struck the Jeep. According to CHP Sergeant Andrew Kind, the head-on collision between the Chrysler and the Jeep caused the Toyota Camry behind the Jeep to be involved in a minor side-swipe collision with one of the cars. 

In the collision, the driver of the Chrysler, the 58-year-old man driving the Jeep, and two adult passengers in the Jeep were killed. A third passenger in the Jeep suffered major injuries but survived. 

At this time, officials are unsure why the driver of the Chrysler swerved into oncoming traffic. It is still unknown whether drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor. CHP is continuing to investigate the accident.

Update: officials identified two of the deceased victims in the Fallbrook collision as two prominent Bay Area politicians, Hope Wood and Peggy Moore. The couple were passengers in the Jeep that was hit head-on by the Chrysler that crossed into their lane.

The Dangers of Roadway Departure Collisions

Roadway departure crashes (RwD) are defined by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as a crash that occurs when a vehicle crosses an edge or center line, or otherwise leaves the traveled way. Roadway departures often cause serious injuries, and can often result in death. Many roadway departure accidents result in head-on collisions. Of the roadway departure fatalities that occurred between 2016 and 2018, 15,744 of the deaths were the result of head-on collisions.  

Strategies To Reduce Head-On Collisions

Fatal head-on collisions can happen due to various road conditions such as undivided lanes, speed limits above 50 mph, rural areas, curves in the road, and wet or icy roads. To reduce the chances of head-on collisions there are several different steps that state and local agencies can take to help reduce head-on collisions and their severity, including:

  • Center Line Pavement Markings – these help to separate opposing lanes and make it clear to drivers where their lane ends. 
  • Warning Signs For Curves – these help to warn drivers that the road curves up ahead.
  • Rumble Strips On Center Lines – these help to alert drivers they are crossing over into the oncoming lane.
  • Center Line Buffer Area – adding additional space between two solid center line markings can increase the space between opposing lanes helping to reduce head-on crashes. 
  • Increasing Median Widths – this affords more space between opposing lanes and can decrease the chances of head-on collisions occurring.
  • Median Barriers – these create a buffer between opposing lanes, and can greatly increase the number of head-on collisions that occur. 

State and local authorities can take these steps to help prevent head-on crashes and reduce the number of deaths that occur each year. 

“Our hearts go out to the families of the four victims that died in this weekend’s crash,” says Brett Schreiber, attorney at Singleton Schreiber, “I’ve seen firsthand how devastating these head-on accidents can be for the families of those involved. It is important that the families of the victims of Friday’s crash, and others in similar situations, know that they may have legal recourse and could consider contacting a personal injury attorney to learn more about their options.”

If you have lost a loved one or been involved in a head-on collision contact the attorneys at Singleton Schreiber to learn how they may be able to help. Call (619) 771-3473 or via email at info@singletonschreiber.com.