A 32-year-old Holtville woman was severely injured in a car accident after colliding with a car driven by a U.S. Border Patrol agent at an Imperial County street intersection. According to a news report in U-T San Diego, the injury crash occurred at the intersection of Heber Road and Bowker Road, the morning of June 5, 2012. Officials say the Border Patrol agent was northbound on Bowker Road when he struck the woman’s car sending it careening into a nearby canal. The woman was treated at an El Centro hospital for a fractured neck.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured victim of this car accident. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 25 fatalities and 267 injuries occurred as a result of car accidents in the unincorporated areas of Imperial County. Also, countywide, 30 people died and 416 were injured as a result of car accidents, during the same year.
Possible Stop Sign Violation
Based on this news account, it appears that this accident occurred at an intersection that is monitored by a two-way stop sign. Traffic on Bowker is required to stop and yield to traffic on Heber Road. Witnesses have told police in this case that the Border Patrol agent did not come to a full stop at the stop sign.
California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
Fault and Liability
If it is determined that the Border Patrol agent was at fault for this collision, both the agent and his or her employer can be held civilly liable for the victim’s serious injuries. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and other related damages. Car accident victims would be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.