• May 19, 2017

Paul Begay Killed in Santa Clarita, CA, Loose Wheel Accident

Santa Clarita, CA -- May 17, 2017, Paul Begay suffered fatal injuries following an accident in which a wheel came loose and struck his vehicle.

Investigators from the California State Highway Patrol continue their work to determine what caused the tragic accident to occur. They say that it happened at around 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of Highway 14 and Placerita Canyon Road.

According to police officials, 59-year-old Begay was driving a Hyundai car along the northbound lanes of the highway. In front of him, one of the wheels of a Cadillac somehow came loose and flew backward. The wheel crashed into the front driver's side of Begay's windshield, striking him in the process. As a result, he was killed at the scene.

Authorities have not yet suggested what factors may have caused the accident. No charges or citations have been reported at this time.

Investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area


It would be easy to look at these events and figure that they're just a tragic, "freak accident." I caution this approach because accidents like this force us to ask ourselves which is more likely, did this tire just fall off the vehicle due to a freak structural failure and poor maintenance, or is it more likely that someone had worked on the vehicle and done a poor job that led to the tire coming loose? From the news accounts, there's no way that anyone can honestly answer one way or the other.

Accidents like this have happened before, and there are particular details which need to be considered and investigated thoroughly by a professional investigator. It's possible that this wheel was serviced or replaced by an auto shop prior to the accident. There have been instances in the past where a mechanic failed to secure the wheel properly, causing it to come loose and fall off mid-drive. This can lead to accidents that harm the driver of that vehicle and, as we see here, other motorists.

Like I said, the idea of a "freak accident" tends to imply that there was no way to avoid it. But wheels don't just come off of a vehicle on their own. There has to be a systematic breakdown in properly fastening the wheel or a catastrophic structural failure of some sort. There needs to be an extensive investigation to determine what factors caused this to happen and how it could have been avoided. If an auto shop's negligence did indeed lead to this tragedy, then those responsible need to answer for their mistakes before other motorists suffer similar fates.

--Grossman Law Offices


*We appreciate your feedback and welcome anyone to comment on our blog entries, however all visitor blog comments must be approved by the site moderator prior to showing live on the site. By submitting a blog comment you acknowledge that your post may appear live on the site for any visitors to see, pending moderator approval. The operators of this site are not responsible for the accuracy or content of the comments made by site visitors. By submitting a comment, blog post, or email to this site you acknowledge that you may receive a response with regard to your questions or concerns. If you contact Grossman Law Offices using this online form, your message will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential! You should not send sensitive or confidential information via the Internet. Since the Internet is not necessarily a secure environment, it is not possible to ensure that your message sent via the Internet might be kept secure and confidential. When you fill out a contact or comment form, send us an email directly, initiate a chat session or call us, you acknowledge we may use your contact information to communicate with you in the future for marketing purposes, but such marketing will always be done in an ethical way.