San Francisco Big-Rigs Collide Resulting in Wrongful Death To Nearby Bystander, Part 1 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of an injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this big rig accident lawsuit and its proceedings.)


According to Plaintiff: On April 17, 2009, decedent Jason Hamm was the operator of a Church bus that ran out of gas and was disabled on the side of southbound Highway 99 between Merced and Fresno, California. The bus was returning from a trip to San Francisco. On the bus were approximately 40 individuals who had made the trip from the church, including plaintiff Barron Yemming, the 17-year-old nephew of decedent. The bus did not have an operating gas gauge, and once it ran out of gas, decedent pulled the bus over to the shoulder area. Diesel fuel was obtained and was put into the vehicle, and decedent was on the driver’s side of the bus priming the diesel engine to get it started. The bus had been on the side of the road for approximately 30 minutes at this point. Decedent was next to the driver’s side of the vehicle for between 5 and 10 minutes.

Defendant Mark Merryweather, employee and operator of a tractor-trailer vehicle owned and operated by defendant ABC Produce, was southbound on Highway 99 traveling 55 mph. He observed the disabled bus and decedent working on the side of the bus and intended to move from the right lane to the passing lane. He looked in his rear-view mirror and observed defendant Reggie Carreon, the driver of a tractor-trailer rig operated by defendant ABC Group, in the passing lane starting a passing maneuver of his last trailer.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

He had not noticed him at any point in time before that moment despite the stretch of Highway 99 being flat and straight and the obligation of a commercial driver to be constantly scanning his mirrors as he drives on a highway. Defendant Carreon admitted that he was traveling in excess of the speed limit at 59 mph. He further admitted that he never saw the disabled bus on the side of the road or decedent next to it. He also testified that he was unaware of the ABC Produce tractor-trailer until he was approximately 300 feet behind it in the number two lane. This was despite the flat and straight nature of Highway 99 in this area.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Contact Information