Fatal Orange County Cycle Versus Auto Accident
A man killed in an Westminster auto accident when he was struck by a pickup truck while riding his tricycle has been identified as 72-year-old Dieu Vu of Westminster, The Orange County Register reports. The fatal auto accident occurred the morning of March 23, 2009 when Vu was pedaling his cycle across the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Edinger Avenue. A full-sized pickup with oversized wheels and a high suspension turned right on a green light into the cyclist, Vu, according to Westminster police officials. The driver of the pickup was identified as 31-year-old Michael Sindar of Westminster.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Dieu Vu for their extremely tragic loss. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2006 traffic accident statistics, there was one bicycle accident fatality and 31 injuries that occurred as a result of bicycle accidents in Westminster. In Orange County as a whole, 16 deaths and 1,020 injuries were reported as a result of bicycle accidents during 2006.
In this particular case, there is little information available about how or why the fatal tricycle accident occurred. Based on the newspaper report, it seems that Dieu Vu was crossing at an intersection. Sindar was turning right on a green, but if he had seen Vu crossing the street, he should have stopped his pickup truck and yielded right-of-way to Vu. The fact that Sindar did not stop and kept going tells me that he did not see Vu on the tricycle attempting to cross the major street intersection. Going by some of the comments made to this news account, this is not the first fatality to happen here at what appears to be a very busy and dangerous intersection with blind spots
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 the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Dieu Vu’s family would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County auto accident lawyer, who will determine the facts of this case and hold the negligent parties accountable. A skilled Orange County personal injury lawyer will also look into whether there was a dangerous condition on that roadway or intersection that caused or contributed to the accident. If that is the case, then the city of Westminster could be held liable. In California, a claim against any governmental agency must be filed within six months of the accident.