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Driver in San Diego Car Accident Could Face Misdemeanor Manslaughter Charge

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Police investigators are recommending a charge of misdemeanor manslaughter against a driver who they say ran a red light and caused a fatal San Diego car accident, killing 69-year-old Willie Robinson. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the accident occurred October 13, 2009 when the driver of the silver Infiniti going north on Ninth Avenue ran a red light and struck a silver Acura going east on E Street. The Infiniti continued on to the sidewalk colliding with Robinson, who was in his wheelchair. Witnesses had to lift Robinson from under the wreckage. He was in the hospital and underwent several surgeries for a month before he passed away on November 29, 2009.

Possibly Distracted Driver

Police say they have not verified reports that the Infiniti driver was on the cell phone. Apparently, a witness told police that the man had his hand up near his ear, but the driver denies the claim that he was talking on a hand-held phone when this accident occurred. The recommendation is expected to be forwarded to the city attorney’s office for review.

California Car Accident Laws

In my opinion, the police should look into the driver’s cell phone records to determine whether he was on the phone at the time of this fatal pedestrian accident. Talking on a hand-held device or texting is illegal in California. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23123 (a): “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.”

Running a red light is also a serious traffic violation. 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.”

Wrongful Death Claim

If this driver ran a red light because he was distracted and fatally injured Willie Robinson, he should be held both criminally and civilly responsible. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims may file wrongful death claims. Such claims seek compensation to cover medical and/or funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. An experienced San Diego personal injury attorney will be able to guide families through what can be a complicated legal process and help them secure fair compensation for their losses.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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