SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. — Gabriela Arcia, 43, and her husband, 41-year-old Ernesto Victor Alfaro, were killed Oct. 24 in a rollover crash near Bluebird Lane and Cove Road in Lucerne Valley.
The white Chevrolet Trailblazer the couple was traveling overturned in the desert at about 1:30 a.m., according to a local news report.
An investigation into the crash is underway and no additional details about what may have caused the accident have been released.
COMMENTARY ON ROLLOVER ACCIDENTS
I am deeply concerned to learn about the rollover accident in Lucerne Valley that claimed the lives of a husband and wife. Authorities have not released enough details to pinpoint the cause of the rollover. The time of the accident, reportedly in the Sunday morning hours, may suggest that fatigue or driving under the influence could have been factors. However, we cannot discern whether mechanical failure or even road rage may have been contributory. This unfortunate accident must be thoroughly investigated to make these determinations.
During my three decades of practicing personal injury law, I have worked on hundreds of rollover accident cases. I have personally witnessed the pain, suffering, and disruption the family of the victims endures as a result. Negotiating the legal system while returning to normalcy is typically a long, frustrating, and agonizing process.
Unfortunately, rollover accidents are far too common on our roadways, particularly among SUVs, such as this Chevy Trailblazer. I have studied the engineering design and safety problems of these types of vehicles extensively. In a nutshell, the wheelbase is too narrow for the height of the vehicle, causing a low Static Stability Factor (SSF). The SSF is the value given a vehicle to determine the probability of the vehicle rolling in an accident. The lower the SSF, the more likely it is to roll on impact. To learn more about my research into rollover crashes, read this study.
I will continue to lead the charge to raise public awareness with regard to the vehicle design flaws that contribute to the epidemic of rollover accidents occurring on our highways. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the family of the deceased.