Monty McClane, 70, of Santa Rosa died after he was run over twice by a man who was backing up a pickup truck out of a business driveway, according to this news report .
McLane was walking on the sidewalk when he crossed the driveway in front of Gardeners Aid at 1050 Sebastopol Road. He was hit by 67-year-old Gerald Day, who was backing out of the parking lot in a Ford F-250 pickup truck. Apparently Day thought he had hit a curb the first time and began to pull forward striking McClane a second time, California Highway Patrol officers said. Day told officers that he did not see McLane at all when he was backing out. The fatal truck accident is under investigation although officials say that alcohol was not a factor.
I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Monty McLane. The man was simply walking down the sidewalk and gets hit by a truck. Let us all take a lesson from McLane’s accident to be aware and alert, even when we are just walking down the street on the sidewalk.
There are a number of unanswered questions in this incident. Why did. Day not see McLane coming? Was there anything loaded in the truck that was blocking his view behind him? Did he have his rear-view and side-view mirrors in place? Was there a problem with the truck or its brakes and did it have any other type of mechanical failure? All these questions must be answered before forming any opinion as to “Why?”
It’s still too early in the investigation to determine exactly what happened. But if from the news reports, there is no doubt that. Day will determined to be negligent while backing his truck and civilly liable to McClane’s heirs for his death. If Day was on the job for his employer or running errands for someone, his employer or the person he was running errands for could also be held economically responsible for McLane’s death.
Victims’ families in such cases would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney qualified in auto vs. pedestrian collision cases. Other than the obvious legal issues, I would want my investigator out to the scene to see if there is anything about the physical layout of the driveway where this occurred that was dangerous or set up this accident to happen. There is the possibility of negligence on the part of the property owner for a dangerous condition.
According to California Civil Code Section 377.60 (a) McClain’s heirs are entitled to damages in a successful wrongful death claim for:
- Loss of financial support they would have received from McClain;
- Loss of gifts or benefits they would have expected to receive from McClain;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of the reasonable value of household services that would have otherwise been performed by McClain;
- Loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support; as well as
- Loss of training and guidance that McClain would have otherwise provided.