Taco Bell Employee Burned When Drunk Driver Crashed

Date: October 20, 2013
Location: Southeast 126th and Division, Portland
Names: Cynthia Smith, Samantha Jane Riley

A Taco Bell employee was seriously injured when a drunk driver drove into the Taco Bell she was working at, causing her to suffer severe grease burns.

Cynthia Smith was working the late shift at her job when the accident occurred. She was standing in front of the fryer when a vehicle collided with the building. The collision caused the oil to fly out of the fryer and land on just about every single part of Smith’s body. Smith stated the burns were so severe, she saw the skin start to come off almost instantly.

The driver of the vehicle that hit the building, 23-year-old Samantha Jane Riley, reportedly abandoned her vehicle and left the scene of the accident. She was later located and charged with several crimes including DUII, felony hit and run and reckless driving.

Smith was taken to the hospital, where she was treated for serious burns to her face, both arms and both legs. It was reported that she may need possible skin grafts as well. She’s also suffering severe flashbacks due to the accident, stating “I don’t sleep a whole lot, maybe an hour or two at a time before I wake up. I keep having flashbacks.” Smith was planning on leaving the hospital on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the worker injured in this horrific accident. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you as your recover from the severe burns you suffered.

Cynthia Smith is one of the 450,000 people in the United States who require medical attention for burn injuries each year, according to the American Burn Association. We understand how traumatizing and painful burns can be, and we hope Ms. Smith is able to completely recover soon.

While most fatal or serious burn injuries occur in residential fires, there are many other causes of burns that you should be aware of.

You can sustain injuries from:

  • Radiation burns, from the sun or a tanning bed
  • Inhalation burns, from breathing in fumes or smoke during a fire
  • Contact or thermal burns, from touching something very hot such as hot metal, steam, scalding liquids, or flames
  • Electrical burns, from when an electrical current runs through someone’s body
  • Chemical burns, from coming into contact with strong acids or bases

If you or a loved one has a burn injury you should seek medical attention immediately. And if the burn was caused by the actions or negligence of another person or company, you may be able to get compensation.

Some common examples include:

  • A property owner’s negligence leads to faulty electrical system, causing a fire. The property owner’s property insurance should compensate victims.
  • A company’s product is defective and causes an accident. They should be liable for damages.
  • A chemical company fails to disclose the hazards of a product, and a fire results. The company should pay the victim or their family.

If the thought of navigating the legal claims process seems overwhelming, consider hiring a compassionate Portland burn injury attorney. They can give you a free consultation to assess your potential claim, and then guide you through to recovery.

About Sean DuBois

Sean is a personal injury attorney in Portland, OR. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as Oregon Rising Stars for the past four years because of his dedication to justice and fair compensation for his clients. If you need to speak with a lawyer about your injury case, Sean can be reached at 503-222-4411.

Posted on October 29, 2013, in Auto Insurance Lawyers, Burn Injury, Drunk Driving and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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