Read these books before talking to the insurance company.

8 Separate Car Accidents in Box Elder County Hurts Many People

January 31st, 2014

4198717511_5ed50c978dAccording to a recent report, a quick moving snow storm produced icy roads in less than an hour and was likely the reason behind eight pileups occurring on a mile stretch of I-15 in Box Elder County. The report added that the crashes that happened Saturday morning involved 29 cars and 3 semi trucks.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry stated that as many as eight people sustained injuries in the crashes. The extent of their injuries however was not as serious as the injury sustained by one woman motorist. Perry added that the woman riding in a compact car suffered critical injuries in the multiple car crashes and was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.

The report disclosed that the string of collisions forced the closure of northbound I-15 from Perry to the 1100 South exit in Brigham City. Police diverted traffic to U.S. 89 until the thoroughfare was passable.

Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry stated that motorists were traveling too fast for conditions on the icy roadway. The first accident was reported to have occurred at around 9 a.m. as a couple of cars attempted to exit the interstate and crashed. The report added that as other vehicles attempted to avoid the first collision, they also spun out of control. This resulted in a series of collisions and pileups involving six cars in one accident and five cars in another accident. One semi was reported to have jack-knifed.

Christensen & Hymas reminds all motorists to take extra precaution on icy roads. Avoid distracted driving as you need to focus your attention to these hazardous road conditions brought by the weather. Avoid driving under the influence as well since this may cloud your judgment and negatively affect your driving skills.

Christensen & Hymas offers free initial consultation on personal injury claims. If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone’s reckless driving behavior, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us at (801)-506-0800 to get in touch with our competent personal injury lawyers. They are happy to clarify any concerns you might have on compensation claims. It is expensive to have treatments for accident injuries and you need time to recover properly. It is best to get assistance from a committed lawyer to help you process your claim properly and receive financial relief.

Original article by Amy Joi O’Donoghue of Deseret News

Image courtesy of Lisa Williams on Flickr.

Tanker Truck Collision causes man’s death in Myton

January 30th, 2014

tanker truckA fatal crash took place on Thursday morning in Myton, Utah involving a tanker truck and a pickup truck. At 6:55 a.m., the driver of the tanker truck, Darrel Wiser, reportedly lost traction as he descended the hill on a two-lane road approaching the US-40 on Parriete Road.

According to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Brett Hansen, “One of the trailers being pulled by the truck jack-knifed and crossed into the oncoming lane and hit a pickup truck driven by Dean Townsend, 49, of Roosevelt.”

According to recent reports, Townsend was pinned due to the impact of the truck bed and his own vehicle. Townswend passed away later from several traumatic injuries.

The tanker truck’s trailer then proceeded to roll down a hill and was ruptured, spilling its load of crude oil. The driver of the truck, Darrel Wiser of Nibley, suffered only a minor scrape on his neck and was issued a citation for failing to operate within a single lane.

Troopers and Duchesne County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the crash. Investigators believe icy roads contributed to the accident. Weather-related accidents occur tens of thousands of times a year in America. With such detrimental effects from the collisions, extra caution and care should be taken to avoid such incidents at all costs.  Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, but you can never be too careful and finding a way to drive safer is usually as simple as slowing down.

Everyone at Christensen and Hymas offers our sympathies to the Townsend family during this difficult time. We know that the loss is tragic and we wish the best to all involved in this incident through this hard time.

To read more about weather related accidents, click here.

Original Story by Geoff Liesik at

Picture courtesy of

Defendant Awaits Sentencing After Death of 2-year-old

January 29th, 2014

The defendant in a case related to the death of a West Valley two-year-old pled guilty to reduced charges on Monday the 27th.

Kimberly Munoz, 21, is looking at up to five years in prison when she faces sentencing in March. The Prosecution, as part of a plea bargain, has recommended three years probation with no additional jail time, but the judge has yet to hand down a sentence. 

Angela Barnett, of West Valley City, was crossing the intersection at 5600 West and 4005 South on June tenth of last year with her nine year old daughter and two year old son when the stroller carrying her son was struck, killing two year-old Gavyn.

Munoz was first charged with the third-degree felony of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and three misdemeanors alleging she drove without insurance, with illegally tinted windows, and without her prescribed glasses. She pled guilty to one charge of leaving the incident of an accident involving property damage, a third-degree felony.

The driver’s visibility was obscured in several ways. In addition to it being 9:15 pm, Munoz’s windshields were illegally tinted and she allegedly had forgotten her glasses. According to the police, the street was poorly lit and the intersection had no crosswalk.

“My client’s mistake and only mistake was leaving the scene behind and not going back,” Munoz’s attorney, Bel-Ami de Montreux said. “She was very young, she panicked, and she went away. We want to emphasize our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the child that passed away, and we are in no way blaming the mother. It was poor judgment — almost no one could have avoided hitting that stroller.”

Christensen & Hymas offers its deepest condolences. We ask drivers to exercise their utmost caution while driving and to remember that safety is always the top priority.

Original report by Jessica Miller of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Drunk Driving Incident Ends in Tragedy

January 28th, 2014

At 8:32 pm Saturday night in Taylorsville, a man driving a pickup truck slammed into the back of the Thurber’s car as Matt, Holden, and Zane Thurber waited at the red light in the intersection of 5400 south and 1300 west.  The crash ended in the tragic death of three-year-old Zane Thurber, and injured his six-year-old brother Matt and his father, Holden.

Moments before the crash, police received several calls and complaints of a reckless driver, but before they could locate the driver, the crash had already occurred.  By the time they arrived at the scene, Police found that five cars had been involved in the crash and that the reckless driver who caused it was Manuel de Jesus Guinea, 45, from Kearns.

 “After the crash, he got out of the car and tried to blend in with the crowd that was around helping,” Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police Department said. “A citizen grabbed onto him and held him until officers arrived and took him into custody.”

According to the police reports for probable cause, witnesses claimed Guinea “definitely smelled like a bar” and was too impaired to give his name and social security number when prompted by the Police. He was only identified by a Utah Driver’s Privilege card found on Guinea’s person.

Unified police have reportedly arrested Manuel de Jesus Guinea, 45, from Kearns, and booked him into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.

Zane ThurberWhile police take care of the investigation, it is important that we keep Zane Thurber, as seen in the picture on the right, and his family in our thoughts and prayers. All of us at Christensen & Hymas offer our sincerest condolences to the family and to all that were involved. We wish you the best and hope that you will be able to find peace and comfort in these hard times.

If any of our readers are wondering how they can help or offer condolences to Zane’s family, relatives of the Thurber family have set up an online Funeral & Medical Expenses Fund where you can donate.  The family has mentioned that the driver who hit them most likely does not have insurance, and so they would appreciate any help you can offer them as they try to cover the expenses resulting from this sorrowful event.


Original Story by   and  at Fox 13 and Amy Joi O’Donoghue at KSL News.

Picture found at the Thurber Family Funeral & Medical Expense Fund

Intentional Auto-Pedestrian Accident Leaves Pedestrian in Critical Condition

January 27th, 2014

intentional auto-pedestrianAn auto-pedestrian accident last Saturday afternoon allegedly resulted from a family dispute. The report stated that police are now looking for the suspect who is thought to have intentionally driven his truck onto a sidewalk and struck a pedestrian. It was disclosed that the victim and the truck driver knew each other. The report went on to state that an altercation between the suspect and the victim occurred prior to the incident at about 4 p.m. in the area near 200 south and 500 west.

According to Lt. Josh Scharman of the Salt Lake City Police Department, the two people involved in the accident may be related, and there is another party that may be involved in the incident. However, it was still unclear to authorities in what way the people involved in this incident are related. Scharman also added that there was another pedestrian present when the accident happened.

The report added that the pedestrian who was hit was taken to a hospital in serious condition while the other pedestrian was not injured. Police disclosed all of this as of about 9 p.m. and added that the victim was in serious but stable condition.

Police also reported that the victim spoke with the suspect over the phone, but that the victim had not yet met the suspect in person. It is still unclear to the authorities why the suspect hit the victim.

Lt. Josh Scharman of the Salt Lake City Police Department stated that police had recovered the truck that was used to strike the victim but the suspect is not in custody.

Christensen & Hymas hopes this case will be resolved soon and we offer our condolences to the victim and all that were involved. We encourage everyone to adhere to traffic rules and share the road. While emotions can often run high, it is never helpful to yield to anger while driving as the resulting actions can lead to disastrous consequences.

Christensen & Hymas cares for people who have suffered injuries as a result of someone’s reckless and negligent behavior. Call us at (801)-506-0800 for a free initial consultation. We believe that you deserve to be compensated to gain relief from the financial burden of the accident. Call us now and let our competent personal injury lawyers assist you through the claims process as you recuperate from your injuries.

Original article and picture by Mark Green of Fox13


Not Buckling Up to Blame for Nearly One Third of 2013 Traffic Fatalities

January 24th, 2014

A new report by the Utah Department of Transportation states that traffic fatalities have gone up from 217 in 2012 (the lowest since 1959) to 219 in 2013. Carlos Braceras, director of UDOT, told KSL that “although Utah only experienced a slight increase in 2013, any climb in fatality numbers is troubling.”

Troubling indeed as 71 of the 219 deaths can be attributed to improper use of safety restraints, one third of total fatalities. If we exclude incidents involving pedestrians, motorcycles, and bicycles, which obviously won’t be attributed to seat belts, then nearly half of the remaining fatalities could have been prevented. “There are a lot of things you can do to prevent death or

Image Courtesy of UDOT

serious injury in the event of a car crash,” Braceras stated in a UDOT press release. “The simplest thing you can do is wear your seat belt. People who aren’t properly buckled are 40 times more likely to die in a car crash than those who are.”

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, or Advocates, recently released their 2014 “Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws” which ranks states on their traffic safety legislation, including seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws and licensing gradations based on age. (For a full list, see the original document) Utah ranks right in the middle, but lacks comprehensive seat belt enforcement and up-to-date teen driving restrictions.

Utah has seen a significant reduction in fatalities since the year 2000, and while a slight increase over the last year is not a terrible sign, it may represent the start of a plateau, however, this remains to be seen. Even after passing last year’s three-foot bike safety law legislators have been slow to adopt truly comprehensive traffic safety legislation. There is still a lot to be done before Utahans can make traffic fatalities a thing of the past, and it will take both increased personal responsibility and specific legislation to truly make an impact.

As always, Christiansen and Hymas reminds its readers to buckle up and drive safely.

Suspect Flees After Crash on I-215

January 23rd, 2014

wvc carAt approximately 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday the 21st, a woman allegedly crashed a stolen vehicle causing it to roll over before fleeing into the night. The crash took place on I-215 near 235 West in Murray. According to KSL news, the suspect has been identified as 36-year-old Marcy Riley of Cottonwood Heights. There were no reported witnesses to the incident.

Many details of the circumstances leading up to the incident are, as of now, unknown or unreleased. Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce has stated that the cause of the crash has yet to be determined and there were no reported injuries.

Although it is uncertain how she lost control of the vehicle, information gathered during an investigation by WVCPD and UHP indicates that Riley fled north on foot before getting a ride to a TRAX station from an acquaintance.  The car involved was reported stolen earlier that day by the suspect’s ex-boyfriend, whose identity has not been made public.

The suspect has, thus far, eluded a joint investigation by UHP and WVCPD, and remains at large. There is an active warrant for Riley’s arrest on drug-related charges, and additional charges are expected to be filed in the near future. West Valley City Police have recently been the subject of intense scrutiny after a wrongful death suit and a nine month investigation that led DA Sim Gill to decide that the killing was, in fact, unjustified. A criminal inquiry in this case is still in progress. Cases filed against this police department have caused controversy more recently, and their operations are—now, more than ever—under the careful watch of the public eye.

Police are asking anyone with information about Riley or her whereabouts to call 801-887-3800.

Christensen and Hymas would like to remind all of our readers to never drive under the influence and be careful on the highways at night. If you or a loved one has been wrongfully harmed, even at the hands of an authority figure, then you have a right to seek justice.


Photo Provided by

Man Still in Recovery After Frontrunner Incident

January 22nd, 2014

frontrunner pic

2 weeks after being struck by a train, little improvement

Getting off the train en route to his job in Roy, Utah, Alex Saurez was hit by a Frontrunner train travelling in the opposite direction.

For the past two weeks, Saurez has remained at Mckay Dee Hospital as doctors address his injuries. KSL’s Alex Cabrero reported earlier this week that “Doctors were able to repair most of the physical injuries, but they are still worried about brain damage that may have occurred.”

Saurez’s brother-in-law Sergio Pio, said “We’ve been on a roller coaster ride every single day, he has a broken leg, the knee, broken arm. They removed his spleen and eight ribs.” However, Saurez’s injuries don’t stop there. Pio continued, “After they went deeper, they found it was more injury than was supposed to be on the brain.” The circumstances leading to the incident are still under investigation. It is unknown if Saurez was distracted, in a rush to get to work, or otherwise unable to move out of the way of the oncoming train.

The extent of  the brain damage that Suarez has sustained is unknown, likewise it is uncertain when he will regain consciousness. Sergio Pio, who has checked in with him nearly every day for the two weeks he has been in the hospital, told KSL that it may take anywhere from a couple of days to a year for Suarez to wake up.  Unfortunately his health insurance ran out two days before  the incident; as Suarez’s wife and four children wait for him to recover, the “Alex and Gabriela Suarez Family Fund” has been established through Wells Fargo (see KSL for more information) to help cover the costs of treatment.

Christensen and Hymas is a compassionate law firm that specializes in helping accident victims. We offer our sympathies to the Saurez family, and hope for a speedy recovery.

Original Article by Alex Cabrero of KSL News.

Picture courtesy of


West Valley Man Fatally Injured in Auto-Pedestrian Accident

January 21st, 2014


Early in the morning, on Friday the seventeenth, a West Valley City man was struck at the intersection of 2700 west and 4270 South.

Chris Larsen, a 59-year-old who was on his way to work at a nearby grocery store, was hit at around 6:45 a.m. as he was crossing east to west at the intersection. 

WVCPD officer Dalan Taylor  was at the scene following the accident, and believes that Mr. Larsen was hit as he stepped into traffic in front of a compact car that was heading southbound at 40 mph.

The incident is still under investigation, but dark morning conditions and a poorly lit intersection are thought to have contributed to this vehicle-pedestrian incident. Officer Taylor also added that there is no crosswalk at this intersection. It was reported that paramedics, police officers, and witnesses all attempted to revive him, but after suffering massive head and chest trauma there was little that could be done and Mr. Larsen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Accidents like this are tragic and far too common.  We invite our readers to exercise caution in the early morning hours, particularly at intersections and in school zones. If you are driving in an urban area, especially when the weather or lighting makes it difficult to see,  slow down and pay close attention to anywhere a pedestrian is likely to cross, even if it’s not marked.

Original Article: Salt Lake Tribune

Original News Video: KUTV News Report 

Photo from Wikipedia

Plea Deal for DUI Driver

January 17th, 2014
Ramiro Serrano-Hernandez

Ramiro Serrano-Hernandez

A man, who was identified by reports as Ramiro Hernandez, has taken a plea deal in connection with his involvement in the death of Ashlee Zimmer in August of last year. Ramirez was accused of hitting and killing an Orem woman while driving drunk. According to authorities, he was driving with an expired Utah driving privilege card early Sunday morning when he veered off the road and hit the woman who was sitting on the curb next to a parked car at 844 N. 100 West in Orem at about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 25. He hit a parked car prior to hitting Zimmer and proceeded to crash into a fence. According to police reports, Hernandez fled the scene of the crash. He was later found hiding behind a garbage receptacle a few blocks away when found by authorities.

It has been disclosed that Hernandez was charged with automobile homicide while Driving Under the Influence, which is classified as a second-degree felony; failure to remain at an accident involving death, a third-degree felony; an accident involving property damage, a class B misdemeanor; and driving without a valid license, a class C misdemeanor. According to the report, Hernandez recently pleaded guilty to automobile homicide by DUI, a second-degree felony, and, in exchange for the guilty plea, the remaining three charges against him were dropped.

This is not the first time that Hernandez has been cited for an alcohol-related incident. One day before the fatal accident, he was cited for intoxication and disorderly conduct. The report added that Hernandez wasn’t taken into custody at that time because he wasn’t driving.

Reports state that the verdict for his case will be given by February 27. Hernandez could face one to fifteen years in prison as a consequence of his actions.

Christensen & Hymas hopes that this story can motivate all motorists to be responsible on the road. The safety of the driver and the safety of those around him depends on strict adherence to traffic rules. To avoid accidents, do not drive distracted or impaired.

Christensen & Hymas can be reached through (801)-506-0800 for a free initial consultation on personal injury claims. Anyone who has sustained injuries or has been hospitalized as a result of the recklessness or negligent of another person is entitled to compensation. Call us now so that our competent personal injury lawyers can answer all of your concerns.

Original article and photo by Paige Fieldsted of Daily Herald