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Car vs. semi accident on SoCal freeway captured on video

While residents of Roseville don't have the traffic congestion and accompanying highway hazards that their counterparts in Southern California do, accidents can occur at any time or place where there is vehicular traffic.

Such was the case in Colton last week on the I-10 westbound freeway near Pepper Avenue. According to a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol, at approximately 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, an act of aggressive driving by at least one vehicle almost cost another driver her life.

Rear-mounted camera captures accident

Footage from one vehicle captured the collision and the events immediately preceding and following it. As a woman in a BMW drove west down the freeway in the middle lane, a gray Infiniti and a green Mazda in the lanes to the left and right of her, respectively, are seen approaching at a high rate of speed.

As the Infiniti approached a big rig to the right of the woman's BMW, the driver accelerated and cut her off, striking her car and causing it to appear to ricochet into the side of the Mazda, which then propelled the BMW to underride the side of the big rig.

After the impact, both the Infiniti and Mazda sped away from the crash site. The footage shows the 18-wheeler continuing to drag the BMW for several seconds as the trucker attempted to stop. Smoke soon enveloped the vehicle entrapped by the underride.

Tragedy averted, but could it have been avoided?

While the woman driving the BMW miraculously avoided injuries more serious than the bruises and cuts she suffered, few have been so lucky. Many have died from rear- and side-underride collisions on America's highways.

Earlier this spring, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted research that determined that trucks equipped with underride guards on the sides of their trailers offered the same safety advantages as those mounted in the rear of trucks.

Industry or governmental mandates regarding equipping all big rigs with the rear guards on trailers remain mired in the regulatory process.

Civilian footage key to identifying at-fault drivers

Police were able to locate the driver of the Infiniti involved in the dangerous crash thanks to the dash cam footage from the vantage point of another driver's rear window. He had bought and installed the camera to capture footage of tailgating drivers.

After helping the BMW driver in the immediate aftermath of the accident, he also gave her access to the video of the two speeding drivers who caused the collision. Authorities are attempting to locate the driver of the Mazda and also determine whether the drivers of both vehicles were racing each other.

Both civil and criminal repercussions may result

Drivers and passengers who get hurt under similar circumstances in underride accidents may be able to pursue damage claims from the at-fault drivers regardless of whether or not they are charged criminally in the accident. Learn your legal rights under California laws to make an informed decision.

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