Mother Dies and Children Injured in U.S. 30 Crash

Date: May 4, 2015

Location: U.S. 30

Names: Heather Robison, Kierstin Merila

Mother Dies and Children Injured in U.S. 30 Crash

Monday morning, a mother died and her two children were injured in a collision on U.S. 30 east of Rainier.

Two vehicles headed in opposite directions collided and a third vehicle swerved off the road to avoid the crash.  The accident occurred near the intersection of Little Jack Falls and Lindberg roads about 3 miles east of Rainier.

Heather Robison, 26, of St. Helens, was driving one of the vehicles and died at the scene.  Her 6-year-old and 1-year-old sons were injured and are in good condition at a local hospital.

The driver of the other vehicle, Kierstin Merila, 20, of Warrenton, was injured and taken to a local hospital.

The cause of the crash is unknown and remains under investigation.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Heather Robison.  We wish Kierstin Merila and Robison’s two boys a full and speedy recovery.

Oregon wrongful death claims are allowed under ORS 30.010-30.100, but the law is much more complicated than a normal accident case. First of all, the statute of limitations (SOL)(time limit on filing a claim) is different. For most car accidents, the SOL is two years, but for wrongful death, the SOL is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .”

Additionally, there are limits on who can bring a wrongful death claim. The most common claimants are:

  • Spouses
  • Children (including stepchildren)
  • Parents (including stepparents)

Less common claimants include:

  • Grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

In a wrongful death case, you can ask for compensation for several types of damages such as:

  • Charges for medical services;
  • Charges for burial and memorial services;
  • Compensation that the decedent would have been entitled to for disability, pain and suffering, and loss of income during the period between injury and death;
  • Compensation for “pecuniary loss” to the decedent’s estate;
  • Compensation for the loss of the decedent’s “society, companionship and services” to the decedent’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents, and parents;

Punitive damages are allowed as well, but are rare in Oregon since the State takes 70% of punitive damages awarded. If you have lost a loved one, call a Portland wrongful death attorney for help in securing the compensation you deserve.


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 May 6, 2015, in Automobile Accidents, Car Accidents, Injuries to Children and Minors, Oregon Car Accidents, personal injury, Wrongful Death and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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