Nebraska Man in Highway 75 Four-Car Accident

On March 17th, Darrell Kotalik of South Sioux City, Nebraska was traveling southbound on Highway 75 when he struck Arther Otto’s 2000 Peterbilt. Otto was crossing the highway at the time and, possibly due to dark conditions, Kotalik did not see him until it was too late. After the accident, Baker Gaylin of Akron, not seeing the accident, struck Kotalik’s vehicle. Another motorist, Vincent De Groot, lost control of his Nissan Sentra and went into a ditch. It appears all the accidents occurred due to the extremely dark conditions. Kotalik was transported to Mercy Hospital where he was treated for broken bones.

Attorney Lombardi’s Comments: The multi-vehicle collision is a difficult accident to investigate. The later any lawyer gets hired the more difficult it is to prove the truth. This is true because memories fade and insurance adjusters obtain recorded statements shielding their insureds. It’s always best to act quickly following an accident and hire counsel who will protect your interests.

14-Year-Old Boy Dies in Crash Near Neola

14-year-old Gage Williams of Neola died on March 21 from injuries received after 18-year-old Kael Karagianis lost control of his Ford F150. Witnesses stated that the vehicle went off the road, into a ditch, and then rolled. The other three passengers, also students, were treated for minor injuries. An investigation is ongoing in this case.

Attorney Lombardi’s Comments: It’s always tough to hear of a young lad this age dying in a crash. The ongoing investigation will somewhat complicate what the lawyers in the civil case can do, but that doesn’t normally stop us for doing what we like to do early; gather and preserve the available evidence.

Woman Dies in Head-On Collision in Crawford County

On March 22nd, Asuncion Guzman Ramos, 61, was one of three passengers in an Oldsmobile Alero driven by Marilu Nava, 41. As Nava traveled southbound on Highway 59 near Denison, a Suzuki Vitara, driven by Ruben Ramirez, 28, hit her head-on. Ramirez had veered onto the gravel shoulder and then overcorrected and maneuvered into oncoming traffic, where he collided with Nava. The Suzuki rolled onto its side and settled in the road, while the Oldsmobile careened into a ditch. All involved were transported via ambulance to Crawford County Memorial Hospital. Ramos was flown by Lifenet helicopter to Nebraska Medicine, where she succumbed to her injuries. The others involved were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Attorney Lombardi’s Comments: This appears to be driver error as the cause although my opinion might change depending on what witnesses’ state. As a lawyer we look not just at the driver’s overcorrection after going off the hard surface, but why did the car veer off the hard surface to begin with. To answer that question, we would start by subpoenaing the phone records of the driver. Phone records have been in the news latterly with Apple battling the FBI over the San Bernardino shooters.

One Dead in Lenox Rollover Accident

Theresa Moses, 47, of Lenox died March 22nd after she and two other passengers were ejected from a vehicle during a rollover accident. Although the nature of the accident remains unclear, the vehicle, driven by Rachel Reed, rolled over and ejected three passengers before coming to a stop in a field. Reed had been traveling on 130th Street near Yellowstone Avenue at around 4 pm when she lost control. The ejected passengers, Junior Chumley, Jr. and Kyle Gile, were not wearing seatbelts. All involved were transported to local hospitals with severe injuries. Moses died from her injuries; the others are expected to survive.

Attorney Lombardi’s Comments: The key point to understanding if there is a case against the driver’s insurance company is what caused her to lose control? I say this because if there was something wrong with the car then it isn’t the driver’s fault but the fault of the manufacturer. Preserving the car and performing an early investigation are the best ways to determine fault and which insurance company or companies should pay the damages. 

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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