A woman from Palmdale, CA was recently arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter for allegedly causing a fatal motorcycle accident last year.
The motorcycle crash occurred on the Sierra Highway just before 5:00 a.m. on February 11, 2016. Oliva Amayo Mendoza, a 34-year-old resident of Palmdale, was behind the wheel of her car and traveling on Highway 14 in the Newhall area of Santa Clarita, California. At the same time, a motorcyclist on a Suzuki GSX was traveling northbound on the Sierra Highway and attempting to exit at the Highway 14 off-ramp at Placerita Canyon Road.
Upon entering the off-ramp, the motorcycle reportedly collided with the side of the car. This caused the motorcyclist to be thrown from the bike and land on the pavement.
Medical officials with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office pronounced the motorcyclist dead at the scene of the accident. The motorcyclist, Dale Zack, lived in Lancaster CA and was 28 years of age when he died in the crash.
For the past year, traffic detectives with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station have been investigating the fatal motorcycle accident. Investigators eventually determined that there was enough evidence to arrest Mendoza and charge her with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. A law enforcement official issued a statement about the arrest and said that it stemmed from the fatal traffic collision on the California Highway 14 freeway off-ramp.
According to arrest records from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), Mendoza was being held in the county jail on a $25K bail amount.
If Mendoza is ultimately convicted on the very serious criminal charges, she could wind up being sentenced to jail time. However, regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, it is possible that she will be subject to a wrongful death lawsuit from the family members of the victim. That’s because California law provides survivors with a mechanism for recovering compensation for certain damages, including lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and funeral costs.
If a member of your family died due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to collect financial damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. At The Paris Firm, we can help. Contact The Paris Firm now to schedule a free initial consultation.