14-Year-Old Boy Killed in Crash with Tanker Truck

Date: January 18, 2014
Location: I-5, Donald/Aurora
Names: Carlos Daniel Perez, Sarah Perez, Carlos Perez-Trujillo, Jacob L. Williams, Louis Zenon-Mesa, Heron Mendez

A Saturday morning crash on I-5 between a van and a tanker truck resulted in multiple injuries, several of which were serious, and the death of a young boy.

Police report that around 10am on Saturday a passenger van was coming off of the Donald/Aurora northbound on ramp onto I-5. The van, a Dodge Caravan driven by Heron Mendez, 66, from Springfield, was carrying six people. It collided with the back of a tanker being pulled by a commercial truck. While the accident is still under investigation, it is reported that heavy fog might have played a role.

Mendez and two of his passengers, Jacob L. Williams, 36, and Louis Zenon-Mesa, 28, both from Eugene, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for treatment.

Three other passengers, Carlos Perez-Trujillo, 41, and his children Carlos Daniel Perez, 14, and Sarah Perez, 12, all from Springfield, suffered serious injuries and were taken to OHSU. Carlos Daniel Perez died a week later at the hospital, while his father and sister reported to be in serious condition.

The driver of the tanker truck, Richard Reienmuth, 68, from Gering, Nebraska, did not suffer any injuries in the accident.

We would like to express our best wishes to all the parties injured in the accident. We hope you all recover quickly and completely from the injuries you suffered in this serious collision.

When a child is injured, the law can be complicated. Oregon law seeks to give children and their parents more time to file a case, but in reality the law makes the statute of limitations (the time limit to bring a claim) very confusing.

In these cases the grief of losing a loved one is deepened by the knowledge that their death may have been due to someone else’s negligence. While it is a small consolation, it is possible to file a wrongful death claim under ORS 30.010-30.1000.

The Oregon statute outlines who is entitled to compensation. Spouses, children, and parents are the most common claimants, but under some circumstances, grandchildren, siblings, and grandparents may be able to bring a wrongful death claim as well. A Personal Representative, usually chosen by the family and approved by a judge, must bring the lawsuit for these beneficiaries.

It is important to note that the time limits for filing a wrongful death claims are very complicated and depend entirely on the circumstances. Your time limit (statute of limitations) may be as little as one year, so preserving evidence and seeking legal help in a timely manner can be extremely important to the case.

If you need to speak with a Portland wrongful death attorney, most offer free consultations. Many will also help you investigate the accident for free until you decide what to do about representation. Let them help you navigate this legal process, so that you can grieve without jeopardizing your rights.

If you are looking for more information about wrongful death claims, please order our free guide, Oregon Wrongful Deaths: A Family Guide to the Civil Justice System After the Death of a Loved One.


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 January 27, 2014, in Portland personal injury attorneys and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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