Unrelenting winter storms have wreaked havoc in California, dropping more than a foot of rain in some areas and leaving roads dangerous and impassable throughout the state. Communities are flooding from swollen creeks and sinkholes are swallowing up vehicles on the roadways. At least 17 people have died from storms that began late last month, including a pickup truck driver and a motorcyclist who were both killed when a eucalyptus tree fell on them on Highway 99 in the San Joaquin Valley.
In Los Angeles County, two people had to be rescued by firefighters after they were trapped in a car that was swallowed up by a large sinkhole. According to reports, first responders arrived to the scene and found two vehicles on top of each other about 15 feet below street level. Rescue personnel used a high-angle rope and an aerial ladder positioned over the sinkhole to lower a firefighter down to rescue the two females who were trapped. A harness was then secured to the victims who were raised to the surface and transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Two other people who were also in the sinkhole pulled themselves out before rescue personnel arrived to the location.
Days earlier, a massive sinkhole opened up and swallowed a car in Mendocino County and another sinkhole forced the closure of the Bay Area’s Oakland Zoo.
Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP has experience representing drivers who have been injured as a result of sinkholes in California, including in the County of Los Angeles where firm attorneys obtained a $4 million settlement for a woman who suffered injuries after driving into a large sinkhole that suddenly opened up on the road. The woman’s vehicle fell 20-feet below street level and landed upside down in a pool of raw sewage at no fault of her own.
If you have been involved in an accident as a result of a sinkhole, you may be entitled to compensation if you have suffered injury or the death of a loved one due to the negligence of another. Contact Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP today for a free consultation of your situation at (877) 800-1700.