Fred Gonzales, 64, was killed in a Huntington Beach car accident after two vehicles struck him as he crossed the street. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred on Beach Boulevard near Ellis Avenue, the night of April 22, 2012. Huntington Beach police say the driver of a 1988 Oldsmobile Tornado sedan struck Gonzales in the southbound lanes of traffic. The pedestrian was then struck by a 2008 Ford Ranger pickup truck. Gonzales was pronounced dead at the scene. Both drivers remained at the scene and so far, no arrests were made, or citations issued. Anyone who witnessed this accident is asked to call Huntington Beach police at 714-536-5666.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Fred Gonzales for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 31 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Huntington Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 41 people died and 864 were injured due to pedestrian accidents, during the same year.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on the news account, it is not clear if Gonzales was in a crosswalk at the time. California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” The same section also states: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
Fault and Liability
I trust officials are looking for witnesses in order to determine what occurred here. There are a few unanswered questions at this time. Was there a dangerous condition on the roadway, which contributed to the crash? Were the drivers speeding, distracted, inattentive or otherwise negligent? Why did the driver of the Oldsmobile fail to notice the pedestrian?
In such cases, families of deceased car accident victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. A knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney will be able to determine if a dangerous condition on the roadway caused the accident. If that was the case, the city can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim must be properly filed within six months of the incident.