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Tumbling Big Rig Container Crushes Bicyclist in Carson


A bicyclist was killed in Carson on Tuesday when a container fell off a passing big rig and crushed him.

The accident happened about 5:05 p.m. The big rig driver was traveling on South Santa Fe Ave. near Warnock Way, along the Carson-Long Beach border. The bicyclist, 51-year-old Robert Castorena, was riding his bike on a nearby sidewalk. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a container fell off the tractor-trailer and crushed Castorena.

The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Investigators are looking into whether the container may have become dislodged by hitting an overhanging railroad bridge.

According to the Carson Sheriff's station, investigators inspected the bridge and found scrapes underneath it. The bridge is 14 feet and 5 inches tall. The truck driver was able to drive under the bridge and make it to the other side. Investigators believe that the the container's top struck the underside of the bridge, causing the fastening straps on the container to break.

According to Teamster officials, the truck driver was using a flatbed truck. Flatbed trucks use straps to secure a cargo load, as opposed to a chassis, that locks cargo down.

The big rig is owned by Western Pride Inc., of Cedar City, Utah. It is unknown if the truck driver was a company employee or an independent contractor.

What is the Value of a Life?

There is no question that in this case, the insurance carrier for the big rig driver is legally liable for the death of the bicyclist. The question is: which families members are entitled to make a claim and how much will the insurance company have to pay?

If you have suffered the loss of a family member due to someone else’s negligence, you should seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer. And not any personal injury lawyer will do. You should hire the best personal injury lawyer you can. The value of your claim is affected by the attorney you chose to represent you. You need a lawyer who has experience handling wrongful death cases, a reputation that is known by insurance companies, and the money to fund the case to properly work it up.

McGee, Lerer & Associates is a Long Beach personal injury law firm that specializes in serious injury and wrongful death cases. We are available 24/7 for a free consultation.