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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Temecula: Seven Injured, One Seriously, in Crash Involving Stolen Semi

Posted on Apr 11, 2013

On the night of Saturday, April 6, seven people were injured, one seriously, in a crash involving a stolen semi in Temecula. Nineteen-year-old Jerimiah Clyde Hartline hid in the berth of an acquaintance’s semi truck in Tennessee, revealing his presence to the 37-year-old driver about 100 miles into the trip. Not wanting to leave the teen so far from home, the driver allowed him to ride to California with him. When the driver stopped at a California Highway Patrol weigh station on Interstate 15 in Rainbow, Hartline stole the big rig, which was hauling a trailer full of strawberries. He sped recklessly into Temecula, colliding with a Toyota Tacoma and two other vehicles; the impact sent the Tacoma into a 4-Runner and a Mercedes. Hartline finally lost control of the semi, causing it to overturn. After attempting to flee in the van of a Good Samaritan who had stopped to help, Hartline was detained by bystanders until authorities arrived. Once interviewed, he revealed to officers that he believed zombies were chasing him. He was transported to a hospital and subsequently arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and hit-and-run. 


“When a driver’s negligence causes an accident that harms others, he or she may be held liable for the expense of their recoveries,” explained California truck accident lawyer James Ballidis, “such as for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.”


Traffic accidents claimed the lives of or caused injury to 306 people in Temecula in 2010, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Drivers under the age of 21 were involved in 9 of the crashes that resulted in injury or death. Large trucks were involved in 6 of the fatal and 293 of the injury accidents that occurred in Riverside County that year.


All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to wish a full recovery to the seven people who were injured in the crash involving the stolen semi.


The Press-Enterprise originally reported this Temecula collision.


Additional information on the injury claims process is available to the public free of charge through our office.


If you would like to request one of these free resources, or to speak with a California truck accident lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596. 

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