Maria Carachure, 64, sustained life-threatening injuries in a Riverside car accident after she was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street, the night of August 20, 2011. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, Carachure was walking in an unmarked crosswalk at the intersection of California Avenue and Heidi Road, when she was struck by a Mitsubishi Montero driven by 59-year-old Celia Scott. Carachure was transported to a local hospital with critical injuries. Officials say Scott failed to see the pedestrian as she crossed the street. They do not believe alcohol was a factor. An investigation is ongoing.
I sympathize with Maria Carachure and her family members for what they are going through at this time. I wish her the very best for a quick and full recovery. Please keep this victim in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were four fatalities and 88 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Riverside. In Riverside County as a whole, pedestrian accidents claimed 40 lives and injured 395 people, during the same year.
Based on this news report, Carachure was legally crossing in an unmarked crosswalk at the Riverside intersection. Under California law, motorists are required to yield right-of-way to pedestrians at an intersection – regardless of whether they are crossing in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
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.”
Fault and Liability
I trust officials are looking into why the driver failed to see the pedestrian or yield right-of-way. Was she distracted, speeding, inattentive, or otherwise negligent? If the driver is determined to have been at fault, she can be held liable for Carachure’s serious injuries. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will better advise car accident victims about their legal rights and options.