A 43-year-old man suffered serious injuries in a San Bernardino car accident after he was struck by a teen driver at a street intersection in Yucaipa, California, the morning of August 20, 2009. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, the man was crossing 11th Street at Yucaipa Boulevard in a motorized wheelchair when he was struck by a full-sized Chevrolet pickup truck driven by a 16-year-old boy. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials say the pickup was traveling at about 35 to 40 mph, which is normal speed for that road. The driver simply did not see the man in the wheelchair, officials said. Based on the skid marks at the scene, officials say, the teenager tried to stop his car, but could not do so in time to avoid the pedestrian-car collision. The victim was taken to an area hospital.
My heart goes out to the man in the wheelchair who has apparently been seriously injured in this pedestrian accident. I hope he did not suffer life-threatening injuries and wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep him in your prayers.
San Bernardino Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but six injuries involving pedestrians in Yucaipa, California. In San Bernardino County as a whole, 51 fatalities and 1,068 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of pedestrian accidents.
California Vehicle Code 467(a) defines motorized wheelchair users as pedestrians, with all of the same rights and restrictions as someone walking along a roadway. That means vehicles are required to yield to them, and that the wheelchair users are to stick to sidewalks or shoulders and crosswalks.
California Car Accident Laws
According to this newspaper article, the man in the wheelchair was crossing at an intersection. 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.”
The injured victim in this case would be well-advised to consult with an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who can help determine who or what caused this car accident. A skilled car accident lawyer will also look into whether there was a dangerous condition on the roadway, which caused or contributed to this car accident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could also be held liable. Any claim against a governmental entity must be filed within six months of the accident or injury.