Tag Archive: santa clara county coroner

4 Year Old Boy killed in Hwy. 101 truck crash in South San Jose, California; driver is being held on DUI charges

James Lee is arrested in connection with a crash that killed 4 year old.

James Lee is arrested in connection with a crash that killed 4 year old.

A 4-year-old boy was killed Sunday night in South San Jose after an alleged drunken-driver returning from a heavy metal concert slammed into the back of the family’s broken down pickup truck.

 James “Jimmy” Francis Lee’s blood-alcohol level was “about twice the legal limit” of 0.08, said California Highway Patrol Officer Brien Rayner. “He said he fell asleep.”

About 6 p.m., the boy’s father had been unbuckling his 4-year-old son from the back of the family’s Chevrolet S-10, which was parked on the shoulder of southbound Highway 101 near Bailey Avenue when a Ford F-150 smashed into the truck. The boy’s mother and 12-year-old sister had already gotten out of the truck and were not injured.

Lee, 44, of San Jose was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Rick Sung. He has not yet been arraigned, and has until Wednesday to be formally charged if he remains in custody. 

The Santa Clara County coroner’s office identified the boy as Jose Cortes-Diaz of Gilroy. 

The names of his parents and sister were not made public. The boy’s father suffered a broken jaw and fractured rib, according to the CHP reports.

The CHP said the collision caused the Ford to roll over onto its roof and the Chevy to roll down an embankment. The CHP noted that the Ford had been traveling about the speed limit of 65 mph or 70 mph at the time of the accident. 

The crash sent a tool box from the pickup bed of the family’s Chevy flying right into Jose’s head.

“Oh Jesus!” Lee’s father, James Lee Sr., 64, of San Jose, said in an interview when he was alerted of the boy’s death by the Mercury News. “I am so sorry for that little boy. Everybody likes my son. He’s a great kid and a good-hearted guy. But he had no business driving.”

Lee Sr. said he believed his son was at a concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on Sunday, where bands were playing in the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. Lee Sr. said his son, a father of two daughters, had recently bought a home in Gilroy. Father and son have worked for about three decades together as truck mechanics in San Jose.

Emergency crews said Jose was barely breathing when they arrived.

“The little boy was wedged behind the driver’s seat,” said San Jose fire Capt. Chuck Rangel. “He wasn’t doing too good.”

Firefighters pried him out with the Jaws of Life and hoisted him into a LifeFlight helicopter and flew him to San Jose Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

At the time, Santa Clara County sheriff’s helicopter happened to be flying in the area. Pilot Rob Heyde and partner, Deputy Leo Gonzalez, saw there were injuries down below, and traffic was beginning to jam up. The two decided to make an emergency landing on 101, after clearing the freeway using their public announcement system.

“They really went overboard to help,” said Sung, of the sheriff’s office. They were joined by a San Jose police motorcycle officer who was also there by chance.

Lee Sr. said his son had been in jail perhaps 15 years ago, but he couldn’t remember for what. Lee Jr. has no criminal record as an adult in Santa Clara County. According to a records search by the Department of Motor Vehicles, Lee is a commercial driver who had a spotless driving record.

Lee Sr. said his son, who attended Del Mar High School in San Jose, had been trying to get his life together after a bad relationship. But according to his father, Lee Jr. didn’t have a known drinking problem.

“I wasn’t aware of one,” Lee Sr. said.

San Jose Car Accident Attorney Website / San Jose Truck Accident Attorney Website


Illegal U Turn By Truck Causes a Fatal Car Accident.


The Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office has released the identity of the Turlock man killed in Thursday’s accident on Highway 152, while a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman noted how the involved big-rig driver had been making an illegal U-turn as the car with the victims approached at a high rate of speed.

The man killed was Simardeep Bhatia, 18, according to the coroner’s office. Earlier today, the CHP released identities of a man and woman who have survived the accident. The female driver of the 2006 Dodge Charger that slammed through a big-rig’s trailer was Gurvinder Chamal, 19, of Ceres, while the other passenger was Jasbir Singh, 18, of Hughson, said Matt Peters with the Hollister-Gilroy office of the CHP. Both remained in critical condition at Regional Medical Center of San Jose as of this morning, he said.

Bhatia’s sister spoke briefly today about the accident.

“I just really miss him,” Rinku Bhatia said. “I can’t believe that it happened. He was really a nice person. He was really friendly to everyone, and we love him a lot. And we just want everybody to pray for us.”

The truck driver, 57-year-old David Jones of Hayward, attempted an illegal U-turn, entered the dirt median with the vehicle’s front end and blocked the eastbound lanes with the trailer, CHP spokeswoman Erica Elias said. The driver of the Charger traveled at a “high rate of speed” and did not react quickly enough to avoid it and the car “collided into and drove underneath the semi-trailer,” Elias said.

The car’s roof “was completely sheared off,” Elias said. She said Calfire pronounced Bhatia dead upon arrival.

The truck driver was not immediately arrested or cited, Peters said at the accident scene.

This is a terrible accident that caused the wrongful death of an 18 year old passenger, and critical injuires to another passenger and driver.

If you or your family have been the victims of a wrongful death or car accident in California you may call our office for a free consultation 7 days a week, 24 hours per day at 800-816-1529 ext. 1.

California Car Accident and Wrongful Death Attorney.