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The Peninsula Clarion reports that Donn P. Johnson, 53, of Cass Lake, Minn. was killed in a head-on collision at approximately 1700 on Saturday. The wreck occurred on Kalifornsky Beach Road and involved Elizabeth Miller, 54, of Soldotna. Ms. Miller’s 2003 Honda Element apparently crossed into Johnson’s lane, strikingJohnson’s 2000 Hyundai head-on.

Mr. Johnson’s family should be aware that it is illegal to cross the center-line in Alaska. We are not allowed to drive on the left side of a roadway. When a driver, such as Ms. Miller, crosses the center line and causes injury/death, she is legally responsible. The relevant driving regulation is 13 AAC 02.060. It provides:

13 AAC 02.060. Limitations on driving left of center

(a) A vehicle may not be driven on the left side of a roadway under the following conditions:

(1) when approaching within 500 feet of the crest of a grade or a curve in a highway where the driver’s view is obstructed for a distance which creates a hazard if another vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction;

(2) when approaching within 100 feet of or traversing an intersection or railroad grade crossing unless otherwise indicated by an official traffic control device; or

(3) when the view is obstructed upon approaching within 300 feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

The Johnson family should also be aware of AS 09.55.580, our wrongful death statute. It allows family members, dependents, to bring claims for wrongful death. And, automobile insurance is mandatory in Alaska. Once you are emotionally stable, it makes sense to bring a wrongful death claim.

They should also be aware that the decedent’s OWN insurer is on the hook for Underinsured Motorist coverage. Finally, recall that the Statute of Limitations for personal injury and death in Alaska is but two years. Take action soon.

Frankly, you should call a lawyer to help you. Do it today.

Just don’t call me. Whenever I write these pieces, outlining a person’s legal rights and suggesting that a victimcontact a lawyer, I get flamed for being a vulture. It seems some folksprefer that victims like the Johnson family get eaten alive by insurance companies, rather than know their rights. Whatever. Just be sure to call a lawyer – any qualified Alaskan lawyer – today. I wish you well.

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