Graciela Sanchez, 56, was killed in a car crash in Santa Ana, after a vehicle, which officials say, ran two red lights, struck her at a street intersection. The Orange County Register reports that the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of First and Sullivan streets the morning of June 17, 2013. Police say Sanchez was in a crosswalk when she was struck by a white Volkswagen sedan traveling east on First Street. Sanchez was transported to an area hospital where she died.
The female driver in her 20s, who had a valid driver's license, remained at the scene. Police say video they recovered from a red light camera at First and Fairview streets shows the eastbound driver running a red light in excess of 60 mph. Witnesses also say the driver ran a red light at First and Sullivan streets. Police say Sanchez had the right-of-way as she was walking in a marked crosswalk with the light. The driver has not been arrested. The investigation is ongoing.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, officials are saying that this crash was the driver's fault. They say that she was traveling at a high rate of speed and ran red lights at two intersections. In addition, she struck a pedestrian who had the right-of-way and was legally crossing an intersection.
California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) states: "A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown."
In addition, 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." The same section also states that drivers should slow down as they approach a crosswalk and be mindful about the safety of the pedestrian who is walking across the street.
Fault and Liability
In this case, if the driver is determined to have been at fault, she could face criminal charges and also be held civilly liable for Garcia's wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral expenses, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Santa Ana personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims' families about their legal rights and options.