Two people die in auto accident when car submerges in the Yaquina River

Date: May 25, 2014
Location: Highway 20, Eddyville
Name: Christopher J. Kazanski, Abigail Patricia Emerson


Two people died in an accident on Highway 20 early Sunday afternoon.

Police report that 21-year-old Abigail Patricia Emerson of Roseburg was traveling in the eastbound lane of Highway 20 in her Chevrolet Impala when the accident occurred. As she was traveling through a sharp right turn, her vehicle began to fishtail. She lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into another car. The vehicle then traveled 40 feet down an embankment before becoming submerged in the Yaquina River.

Both Emerson and her passenger 24-year-old Christopher J. Kazanski of Madison, Wisc. were knocked unconscious in the crash and were trapped inside the vehicle. First responders extricated them before bringing them to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Corvallis. They were pronounced dead shortly after their arrival there.

Oregon State Police, along with responders from the Toledo Fire Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Transportation assisted at the scene of the accident. There were no reports if the parties in the other vehicle were injured.

Both Emerson and Kazanski were students at Oregon State University.

We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the two young people who were killed in this collision. Our thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.

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 June 15, 2014, in Automobile Accidents, Car Accidents, Oregon Personal Injury Attorney, personal injury, rollovers, speeding, Wrongful Death and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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