In a tragic loss, 17-year-old Lisel J. Wiedemann, of Palm Desert was killed on Sunday night when the car she was a passenger in crashed off of Highway 74. Widermann, a student at Palm Desert High School suffered serious head trauma and a broken neck. The driver of the car was 18-year-old Lydia Lee Emer.
Another passenger in the car suffered serious injuries. 18-year-old Joseph Nicol, was on life support at the Sesert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Nicol suffered severe head trauma including bleeding of the brain, broken ribs, a broken back and collapsed lungs.
While the cause of the crash is still unknown, CHP reports that Emer’s car drifted to the right of the road and then went off a steep embankment and then flipping. This area of the 74 does not have a guardrail to prevent cars from going off the embankment. There are many rocks in the area which the CHP believe caused the car to flip and cause substantial damage.
The term “Guardrail” cases is commonly used to refer to a case where a government entity such as Cal-Trans, or the county or city should have placed a protective system to prevent this very type of accident. In this particular area of the 74, there are many sharp turns and hazards that have caused numerous accidents just this year alone. Specifically, there have been 23 accidents in the past 11-months near this accident site.
In California, the statute of limitations to bring a claim against a government entity is 6-months from the date of the accident. Make sure to speak with a lawyer immediately to protect your rights.