On Thursday, January 12, 2012 a San Juan Capistrano family consisting of a mother and her two children nearly died when a truck driver ran into the back of their vehicle in Buellton, California. The mother is Kelly Lynne Groves and she has a 10 year old daughter and a 10 week old baby girl.
The crash happened on a high bridge over a creek on the 101 Freeway Northbound in Santa Barbara County. A big rig driver crashed his truck into the rear of the BMW driven by Ms. Groves. The crash knocked the BMW over the side of the high bridge where it fortunately hung. Ms. Groves and the two children were trapped inside the car, which could have fallen at any moment to the ground far below.
The truck driver’s truck went over the side of the bridge and into the creek bed below. The truck burst into flames and the truck driver died in the crash.
Back on the bridge, firemen worked frantically to get Ms. Groves, her daughter and her baby out of her BMW. A group of U.S. Navy Sea Bees, who were passing by in the other direction, stopped to help. The Sea Bees had a fork lift on their truck and used it to help hold the BMW and keep it from falling while the rescue efforts went on.
Ms. Groves, her daughter and her baby were all rescued from the BMW and taken to a local hospital. Their injuries were relatively minor, compared to the fact that they could easily have all died. It is believed that they have all been released from the hospital at this time.
A question remains as to what caused the truck driver to crash into the rear of the BMW. If the California Highway Patrol investigation finds the truck driver was at fault, any lawsuit which is filed will have to be filed against his personal representative or estate of the deceased truck driver. This is because, in California, a dead person cannot be sued but their personal representative or estate can be sued for the deceased person’s negligent acts when they were alive.