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A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, was killed in a car accident in 2007 as a passenger in the car of a journalism graduate student.

He had recently given a talk at the University of California, Berkeley when he had asked for a ride to Mountain View, for an interview with an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback  offering $20/hour for the effort.  When a graduate student saw the e-mail from the journalism school’s alumni association regarding the chauffeur job, he jumped at the chance to spend time with the famous journalist and author.

What the journalist did not know was that his student had quite a driving record under his belt.  In 1999, the student, 19 years old at the time, was convicted of a DUI and possession of marijuana.  In March 2005, he was found to be the driver “most at fault” for a car accident that occurred in Oakland.

If the journalist had known this, would he have gotten in the car with the student?  Would a valuable member of the journalism community still be alive?  Would we be reading his next book right about now, about the legendary NFL championship in 1958?

We are car accident lawyers, not psychics, but we believe wholeheartedly that yes, the car accident and death was entirely preventable.  If the university had been more careful about how they found a driver for their guest speaker, if they had screened the candidates, the journalist could still be alive.

His wife also believes this.  She wants universities to change their practice of allowing students to drive guest lecturers around during visits, saying that it is a very dangerous thing, with possibly fatal consequences.

Our car accident lawyers strongly urge people to be careful about the drivers they get into cars with.  Imagine if that was your child in the car with a driver with a known record of dangerous driving.  Would you feel safe letting your child go on a field trip with him?

Call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney after you get into a car accident and find out how we can help you.  We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case.   No fee if no recovery.

Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

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