A 71-year-old man was killed in a Pasadena car accident after a van struck him as he was crossing a roadway. According to a news report in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the fatal pedestrian collision occurred at the intersection of Pasadena Avenue and Arroyo Drive the morning of July 22, 2012. The man was crossing Pasadena Avenue in a marked crosswalk when a van struck him. Police say the driver failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrian who was in a marked crosswalk. The elderly man succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the crash. The driver, a 77-year-old man, has not been arrested, but was issued a citation for vehicular manslaughter. The district attorney will decide whether to file charges based on the evidence presented by the police.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of this pedestrian accident victim. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 11 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian collisions in South Pasadena. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 179 people died and 4,918 were injured due to pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the pedestrian was legally walking in a marked crosswalk, which was not regulated by traffic signals or stop signs. 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
In this particular case, if the elderly driver is determined to have been at fault, in addition to facing criminal charges, he could also be held financially responsible for the victim’s wrongful death. Family members can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.
A knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury attorney can also determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to this incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining this roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident.