San Bernardino County Rollover Accident Kills Toddler

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Anthony Amaya, a 3-year-old boy died in a San Bernardino County rollover car accident after the car he was riding in overturned on the 215 freeway and ejected the boy onto the roadway, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports. The fatal car crash occurred on the southbound 215 Freeway near the 10 Freeway interchange in Colton the night of June 28, 2009. Anthony was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The boy was apparently riding in the back of a 2005 Chevy Malibu when the driver lost control and crashed.

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of little Anthony Amaya. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were four fatalities and 352 injuries involving car accidents in Colton. In San Bernardino County as a whole, 308 fatalities and 9,920 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are about 40,000 car accident deaths in the United States each year, out of which about 10,000 or 25 percent involve rollover accidents.
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San Diego County Car Accident Kills Navy Man

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Andrew Wade Jackson, 24, of the U.S. Navy, died in a San Diego County car accident after his car went down an embankment and struck a tree in Chula Vista. According to a news article on 10news’ Web site, Jackson was driving alone on eastbound Otay Lakes Road near Wueste Road when he lost control on a curve and crashed his 2001 Nissan Maxima the night of June 23, 2009. Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young officer. Apparently, he was married and assigned to the USS Nimitz. I offer my deepest condolences to his wife, his family, friends and shipmates. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were seven fatalities and 824 injuries involving car accidents in Chula Vista. In San Diego County as a whole, 268 deaths and 14,641 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of car accidents.
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Product Recall of Alfalfa Sprouts for Possible Salmonella Contamination

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Kowalke Family Sprouts has voluntarily issued a product recall of its brand of alfalfa sprouts and related products made in California because of possible salmonella contamination and risk of food poisoning. According to an Associated Press news report, the California Health Department says Kowalke Organics’ sprouts were mostly distributed at Gelson’s and Whole Foods markets in Southern California.

These recalled products had sell-by dates from June 18 to June 30. Kowalke Family Sprouts also voluntarily recalled related products such as packaged dinner salad and onion mix. Apparently, only one package of sprouts tested positive for salmonella, but the company decided to go ahead with the recall anyway.
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Zicam Defective Pharmaceutical Products Recalled

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Matrixx Initiatives has officially announced that it will recall its Zicam intranasal cold remedies after hundreds of patients reported losing their sense of smell using the medications, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month issued a consumer alert about Zicam. Matrixx officials are saying that the product recall is voluntary while stating that they disagree with the FDA’s safety warning, which maintains that the zinc-containing Zicam intranasal cold remedies are unsafe to use. The FDA is also alleging that the products were unlawfully marketed, an allegation which is also being challenged by Matrixx.
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Family of Fatally Injured Tree Trimmer Files Product Liability Lawsuit

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The family of a tree trimmer who suffered fatal on-the-job injuries on-the-job injuries in Inglewood has filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the wood chipper that apparently caused the worker’s death, the Los Angeles Times reports. Rafael Jimenez’s family alleges in their lawsuit that Michigan-based Morbark knew for years that the safety features on its wood chippers were inadequate, but did nothing to prevent personal injuries and deaths that occurred as a result. Jimenez, a veteran tree trimmer in his 24th year on the job, was stuffing tree branches into a wood chipper April 2008 when his right hand became entangled in the branches. Jimenez was dragged into the blades of the machine that consumed almost his entire body.
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States Challenge GM’s Liability Plan

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Eight state attorneys general are opposing a provision in General Motors Corporation’s bankruptcy plan that would free the manufacturer from auto product liability lawsuits filed by consumers who have suffered serious personal injuries as a result of defective GM auto products. According to a news report in the Wall Street Journal, attorneys general from Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Vermont filed an objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court contending that GM’s plan to throw these product liability claims out the window would deny injured victims “key legal rights.”
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Orange County Fatal Ford Explorer Rollover Accident

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Michael Hill, 24, of Rancho Santa Margarita, was killed in an Irvine SUV rollover car accident the afternoon of June 20, 2009. Hill was identified later by the Orange County Coroner’s Department. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Hill died after his Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle went airborne for 200 feet landing on the dirt and rock embankment off the 241 toll road at the 133 in Irvine.
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San Diego County Big Rig Truck Accident Injures Three

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Three people — Joshua Hayden, 21, Andy Rodriguez, 23 and Alisa Harvaph, 28 — were injured in a San Diego County truck accident the morning of June 17, 2009. According to a City News Service report, Hayden was heading south on the 5 Freeway near Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad when he crashed into a big rig truck parked on the shoulder. California Highway Patrol officials said Hayden fell asleep at the wheel of the Chevy bobtail truck he was driving, drifted off the freeway and plowed into the back of the tractor-trailer whose driver, Rodriguez, had pulled over to make a cell phone call moments before the big rig crash. Harvaph suffered serious leg injuries and the two truck drivers escaped without major personal injuries. All three were taken to an area hospital.

I’m glad that this truck accident did not result in any major personal injuries or fatalities. Based on the news report, the female passenger of the Chevy truck, Harvaph, was the one who suffered the most serious injuries of the three injured victims. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Truck crashes such as these and additional near misses happen many times each day totaling up to thousands of incidents each year. Many of them are unreported or officially unexplained due to a lack of police training and objective roadside and postmortem tests for fatigue. Steps need to be taken to combat drowsy driving, and improvements will come only with legal action, awareness campaigns, and better data collection and reporting of fatigue-related crashes.
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Ventura County Rollover Car Accident Kills Brother and Sister

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Luis Guzman, 27, and his sister Cecilia Guzman, 22, were killed in a Ventura County rollover car accident as they were returning from the Los Angeles Lakers victory parade in downtown Los Angeles the afternoon of June 17, 2009. According to a news report in the Ventura County Star, five people were traveling in a grey Hummer when the driver, Anthony Borrello, 24, lost control and the Hummer rolled over several times before coming to rest in the center median of Pacific Coast Highway near Hueneme Road. California Highway Patrol officials said the Hummer appeared to have drifted off the right shoulder of the road before coming back on the highway and the median where it overturned several times.

CHP officials say they do not know why the Hummer went off the road in the first place. Authorities say the Guzman siblings, may not have been wearing seatbelts when they were ejected from the vehicle as it overturned. Luis died at the scene while Cecilia was taken to an area hospital with critical injuries. She died a few hours after the crash. Borrello, and two of the other occupants, Peter Aguilar, 26, of Carpinteria, and Oxnard resident, Pedro Ramirez, 24 apparently had had their seat belts on and suffered only minor injuries. Alcohol or drugs were not factors in this fatal car accident, officials said.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Guzman brother and sister for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Here was a group of good friends out cheering the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA title and having a good time. This is a horrible end to what probably started out as a great day of celebration! I wish the injured victims the very best for a quick and complete recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.
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Iowa Van Accident Kills Couple, Injures Three Children

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Joe and Anne O’Connell, a Wisconsin couple that was taking a cross-country trip to California with their three children, died in a van accident June 14, 2009 on a four-lane rural stretch of highway in northeastern Iowa. According to a news report in The Wisconsin State Journal, the family’s Honda Odyssey van was being driven by the O’Connell’s’ 15-year-old daughter Sarah, who was getting some driving experience just a few months after getting her learner’s permit.

However, Sarah was the only one wearing a seatbelt. Joe and Anne as well as two of their children, Colman, 13, and Maeve, 10, were not buckled up at the time of the crash. The accident occurred 30 miles south of Dubuque, Iowa, when Sarah drifted the van onto the shoulder, overcorrected and rolled the van. The Honda Odyssey crossed the median, rolling at least twice before coming to a stop in the northbound lanes. Joe, Anne, Colman and Maeve, were all ejected from the van. Joe died at the scene and Anne died a few hours later. Maeve was in serious condition after surgery while Sarah and Colman sustained non life-threatening injuries. Iowa State Patrol officials say that the seatbelt saved Sarah O’Connell’s life.

I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved the O’Connell family. Here was this wonderful family taking a summer road trip across the country – only to meet such a tragic car accident. Heartbreaking! Please keep the O’Connell children in your prayers. I wish Maeve, Colman and Sarah the very best for a quick and complete recovery from their injuries.
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