Driver Survives 50-Foot Plunge from Freeway Overpass
A man suffered serious injuries but survived after his truck careened off a freeway overpass and fell more than 50 feet before hitting a building and falling to the ground.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the accident was reported just before 3pm Sunday. It took place at the connecting overpass from the westbound Interstate 8 to the northbound Interstate 805 in Mission Valley.
The yellow Ford F-250 pickup truck reportedly veered off the ramp and fell more than 50 feet before hitting the roof and side of a Dave & Buster's restaurant located at 2931 Camino Del Rio North. The truck landed upright on its wheels but sustained a considerable amount of damage in the incident. The building was also damaged, and the driver was severely injured.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department personnel were dispatched to the scene and found the driver inside the vehicle. One paramedic at the scene told a dispatcher that the driver was alert but had suffered major trauma and was complaining of severe back pain. After firefighters cut through the truck to extract the driver from the vehicle, he was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital.
The CHP is investigating the accident as a possible hit and run, based off a witness account that the truck was struck by another vehicle before it careened over the side of the overpass. The witness, a driver who was behind the truck, reportedly saw a brown or tan SUV or pickup truck with a camper strike the truck in the rear. The truck driver then lost control, striking the right guardrail before he veered left again and went over the edge.
The overpass was closed for nearly two hours after the accident occurred but reopened at about 5:10pm.
Officials also began inspecting the restaurant to determine whether it was structurally sound.
Accidents like this are rare, but serve as an important reminder of just how dangerous traffic collisions can be. The driver in this case was apparently rear-ended by another vehicle, which caused him to lose control and plummet over the side of an overpass that was about 50 to 75 feet off the ground, according to a paramedic at the scene. The vehicle struck the side of a building and miraculously landed upright, on its wheels, which firefighters say may be the reason the victim survived at all.
The CHP will need to conduct a thorough investigation of physical evidence and witness accounts to try to locate the vehicle that reportedly hit the truck and fled the scene. In hit-and-run accidents such as this, the driver who failed to remain at the scene may face criminal charges. Leaving the scene of an accident that causes property damage or injury is a crime, even if a driver did not cause the collision. In this particular accident, the hit-and-run driver reportedly struck the pickup truck and sent it careening off the side of the overpass, so the driver could face criminal charges and may also be held liable for the truck driver's medical bills and more.
In California, at-fault drivers in car accidents can be held responsible for victims' injuries, and this means they may be responsible for paying victims' medical bills and for compensating victims for lost earnings, future medical care and even emotional trauma like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. This money can help victims begin to rebuild their lives after serious collisions.
To discuss an auto accident case in the San Diego area or anywhere in Southern California, please call a personal injury attorney at The McClellan Law Firm. We are here to help victims seek justice and maximum compensation.