A tragic accident in California on Sept. 6 left several victims with serious burn injuries after the vehicle in which they were traveling caught on fire. The crash, which occurred on the 60 Freeway near Riverside, occurred when a Lexus rear-ended a Dodge pickup truck that had begun to slow to a stop in the road’s far left lane. Authorities are still not sure whether a mechanical malfunction or other problem was causing the truck to slow down. The Lexus was traveling between 65 and 75 miles per hour when it struck the other vehicle.
The driver of the truck, age 44, and his 29-year-old female passenger were both severely injured when their vehicle caught on fire during the mid-morning wreck. Bystanders who provided initial aid reported that the woman’s entire head was on fire when she finally was removed from the truck. A UPS worker with a fire extinguisher in his vehicle helped smother the flames on her body. That man said the accident was the most horrifying he had ever seen, even though he has been driving commercially for some three decades.
Official reports show the younger female passenger in the truck suffered the worst injuries out of the three people involved in the wreck. She was transported to area medical facilities via helicopter. The driver of the pickup truck also suffered critical injuries and was transported by ambulance. It appears that the driver of the Lexus was also injured, although the extent of those wounds remains unknown.
Burn injuries are among the most life-threatening, long-term wounds, largely because of the risk of infection. Even if a victim is able to emerge from the situation that caused the burns, he or she could die while in care at the hospital. Needless to say, the cost of burn treatment is extraordinarily high. Financial compensation from the at-risk driver could provide some relief to the burn victims in this case.