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Two Dead, Two Injured After High-Speeds Causes Crash into Ditch

Date:  March 13, 2012
Location:  NE162nd Avenue, near Fargo Street, Portland
Names:  Larry Gene Williams, Latasha Simone Kinney, Rebecca Jones, Christopher James Gould

Two Portland residents were killed Monday afternoon after a high-speed crash on Northeast 162nd Avenue. A vehicle smashed into a tree and then went into a water-filled ditch, trapping the four occupants inside. The two passengers who weren’t killed are in a serious condition in a Portland hospital.

Portland Police spokesman Sergeant Pete Simpson told KGW.com that a car was seen speeding along NE 162nd Avenue just after 4 p.m. Monday. Witnesses told Sgt. Simpson they estimated the car’s speed at between 70 and 100 mph. Just before the intersection with Fargo Street, the car went out of control and struck a tree before going into the ditch.

Emergency crews had to use specialist equipment to free the trapped occupants. The driver of the car, Larry Williams, 56, of North Portland, and Latasha Simone Kinney, 32, of Southeast Portland, both died from their injuries. The other two occupants suffered traumatic injuries and are reportedly in a serious condition. They have been identified as Rebecca Jones, 51, and Christopher Gould, 25, both of Southeast Portland.

We would like to send our most sincere sympathies to the families and friends of Larry Williams and Latasha Kinney at this tragic time. We also send our best wishes and hopes for a complete recovery to Rebecca Jones and Christopher Gould. Our thoughts are with you.

Wrongful death claims are allowed by law. ORS 30.010-30.100.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is tricky. It is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .”  In other words, it’s not three years from the date of death; it’s three years from the date of the original injury that ultimately caused the death. If a person goes into a coma from a car crash, and dies eight months later, the case will have to be brought within three years from the date of the car crash, not from the date of the death.

Compensation available includes charges for medical expenses; memorial and burial services; compensation for the person’s pain, suffering, disability, and loss of income from the time of the injury through the time of death; financial losses to the person’s family or other heirs; compensation for the loss of companionship and services to the person’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents; and punitive damages may sometimes be available as well.

The law caps the amount of noneconomic damages at $500,000. This does not apply to economic damages, which are not capped.

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