blog home Wrongful Death Sheriff and County Settle Goleta Wrong Way Crash Suit for $4.8 Million

By Renee Nordstrand on October 31, 2012

Santa Barbara County officials, as well as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, have agreed to pay a family a $4.8 million settlement after a wrong way crash on Highway 101 in Goleta left two people dead and two seriously injured.

The Goleta auto accident happened in Nov. 2009 when a report went out of a vehicle driving down the wrong side of the road on Highway 101. A Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputy, responding to the call, entered the highway and merged slowly into the right lane in front of two cars. According to reports, he didn’t have his siren or emergency lights on.

Unaware of what was going on, the two cars behind the sheriff pulled into the lane beside him to pass — unwittingly putting them right into the path of the speeding, wrong-way vehicle. The sheriff then hit his lights and siren. The driver of the first vehicle, thinking he was being pulled over, turned into the right lane — just barely avoiding the wrong way vehicle.

The wrong way vehicle then plowed head-on into the second car, killing two people in the front and seriously injuring two others in the back seat.

The lawsuit brought by the family alleged that the California Highway Patrol should have handled the call and that the sheriff’s deputy had violated department policy. It also claimed that the sheriff’s actions contributed to the crash.

A wrongful death lawsuit is a complex and multi-faceted undertaking that involves emotional as well as legal issues. The wrongful death attorneys in California at the Law Offices of Renée J. Nordstrand understand these nuances and will do everything in their power to pursue the compensation your family will need while recovering from a devastating loss.

If your family has suffered the wrongful death of a loved one, call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 for a free, no-obligation review of your case.