A 25-year-old nanny pushing a baby stroller sustained fatal injuries in a San Diego car accident after she and the baby were struck by a vehicle as they were crossing a roadway in a marked crosswalk. According to a report in U-T San Diego, the fatal pedestrian collision occurred the morning of February 1, 2013 at the intersection of Camino del Sur and Via Verrazano in Torrey Highlands. A blue Toyota 4Runner struck the nanny and the stroller carrying the 13-month-old boy.
Police say the impact from the collision sent the nanny flying and that her body landed 30 feet away. The stroller became lodged under the front left bumper and was dragged across the intersection before the SUV came to a stop. Witnesses helped remove the unharmed child from under the vehicle. The nanny had fully strapped the baby in the stroller, which is probably what saved his life, officials said. The woman was transported to a local hospital where she died from her injuries. The driver, a woman in her 20s, told officials that she did not see the pair until it was too late. The driver was not arrested pending an official investigation.
San Diego Pedestrian Crashes
There were 26 fatalities and 468 injuries involving auto pedestrian accidents in San Diego, according to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). During the same year, 55 people died and 888 were injured due to car accidents in San Diego County.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news report, it appears that the nanny was pushing the stroller in a crosswalk. Under California law, motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks. California Vehicle Code section 21950 states: "The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection."
Fault and Liability
It is not clear why the driver of the Toyota 4Runner did not see the woman and the stroller in time to avoid the collision. Was she distracted at the time? Did excessive speed play a part? Was the driver inattentive? Was there a dangerous condition on the roadway, which may have caused or contributed to the incident? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues as they investigate the cause of the tragic collision.
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, in addition to facing charges, she could also be held civilly liable for the victim's wrongful death. If a dangerous condition on the roadway contributed to the incident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. An experienced San Diego car accident attorney will be able to advise injured victims or families of deceased victims regarding their legal rights and options.