Horacio Cabrera, 40, was killed in a Bakersfield car accident after a sleeping driver crashed head-on into his van. According to a news article in Bakersfield Now, the fatal car crash occurred on Highway 184, the morning of July 30, 2012. Officials say 21-year-old Jovanna Salgado of Arvin, fell asleep in her Lexus and drifted into the southbound lane. Her Lexus crashed into the van Cabrera was driving. Cabrera was killed and four of his passengers -- Saul Gomez, Antonio Solares, Johnathan Alonso and Modesto Dominguez -- were injured. Salgado sustained a major injury to her leg. It is unclear if she will face charges for the fatal crash.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Horacio Cabrera following this tragic crash. My thoughts and prayers are also with the many injured victims of this collision. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 23 fatalities and 1,034 injuries occurred in 2009 as a result of car accidents in the city of Bakersfield. During that same year, 129 people were killed and 3,061 were injured in Kern County car crashes.

Fatigued Driving Accidents

Based on this news report, the driver responsible for this horrific accident fell asleep at the wheel. Under California law, fatigued driving is treated the same as reckless driving. A reckless driver is defined by California Vehicle Code Section 23103 as "a person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." Drivers who recklessly cause a fatal collision may be held accountable for their actions.

Liability Issues

In such cases, the at-fault driver can be held civilly and criminally liable for the damages caused. Where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Bakersfield personal injury lawyer will better advise families of deceased victims about their legal rights and options. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to car accident victims or their families.