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$400,000 – Cal Trans Guardrail Penetrates Car, Killing Passenger

Guardrail next to SR 99 in Merced, CA penetrates the car, causing death of 68-year-old former Superior Court Commissioner.

On June 8, 2016, a former Merced Superior Court Commissioner was killed when the car he was traveling left the highway and struck the guardrail next to the road. Although he was wearing his lap and shoulder harness and the vehicle’s airbags deployed, he was killed when the metal guardrail ran completely through the car from the front windshield and out the rear window causing blunt penetrating injuries.

The plaintiffs were the two adult children of the decedent. The plaintiffs’ traffic engineer opined that the guardrail had been incorrectly installed and not adequately maintained.

The driver of the car had been drinking alcohol during the night and crashed into the end of the guardrail at a high speed. She was criminally charged and found guilty. Cal Trans alleged the driver was 100 percent responsible for the accident.