A devastating head-on collision on Pacheco Pass in southern Santa Clara County claimed one life and injured two others over the weekend. The accident occurred along Highway 152 just west of Lovers Lane around 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, July 31st, 2021.
The California Highway Patrol said the accident was set into motion when a westbound Chrysler 200 swerved over the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic. The Chrysler struck a Honda Fit head-on.
The Mercury News reports the driver of the Honda was gravely injured and transported to a local hospital where she died. The Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office identified the victim as a 60-year-old San Jose woman.
Two people inside the Chrysler were injured. The driver was taken to the hospital. A passenger suffered minor injuries and was not transported.
The California Highway Patrol has not released the results of their investigation into the accident. They ask anyone with information about the collision to please call investigators at the CHP’s Hollister-Gilroy field office.
Mountain Pass Driving Dangers in Santa Clara County
Driving on two-lane rural roads in Santa Clara County can place vehicles in very close proximity to each other. A mountain pass can combine a steep grade with tight curves and leave little room to swerve out of the way of obstacles.
Those obstacles include careless drivers who can lose control of their vehicles on rural, steep highways and endanger motorists in their lanes and in opposing lanes of traffic. Drivers may be distracted by a cellphone or a conversation with a passenger and not realize the tight curve they are entering.
Drivers can also veer off the road unintentionally, but on mountain passes, this small mistake can be magnified. They may find there’s little room provided off the side of the road to recover. They could also find a steep drop-off of pavement edges causes them to lose control when they try to return to the road.
Drivers can also proceed recklessly. They might travel too fast to navigate a curve. Motorists can also make an ill-advised attempt to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone. Those no-passing zones are there for a reason.
With these added challenges, including changing weather conditions, it’s smart for any motorists traveling on steep roads and mountain passes to prepare for all possibilities. Slow down, take extra care to monitor the road ahead, and enable drivers and passengers to make it to their destinations safely.
Help for Victims and Families After Santa Clara County Accidents
After a tragic accident, insurance companies representing at-fault drivers aren’t required to tell families about their rights and the protections available to them.
Families should always seek legal counsel before taking calls from any insurance adjuster. There are tactics insurance companies rely on to rob families of the support they should be able to count on through such a heartbreaking period.
Be sure to speak to an attorney in your area about your family’s legal options. You can visit our page for California car accident victims for more information.