Alice Talamantes, 92, of Azusa, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident after a vehicle struck her while she was crossing the road. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal pedestrian collision occurred the afternoon of June 7, 2013 at the intersection of Third Street and La Brea Avenue in Hancock Park. Police say the Talamantes was trying to cross the intersection and she had made it about 10 feet from the Third Street curb when she was struck by a northbound white 1983 Peterbilt truck. Police say she was walking in the crosswalk, heading north on La Brea Avenue when the collision occurred. Talamantes was transported to an area hospital where she died. The truck driver was not arrested or cited pending an investigation.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
There were 83 fatalities and 2,218 injuries involving pedestrian accidents reported in Los Angeles during the year 2010, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Los Angeles County as a whole, 179 people died and 4,918 were injured due to pedestrian collisions during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the truck did not stop in time for the woman in the crosswalk and ended up striking her. 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 Issues
There are still several unanswered questions here. Why did the truck driver fail to stop for the woman? Who had the right-of-way at the intersection at the time? Who had the light? Was the truck driver speeding, fatigued or distracted at the time of the collision? Was there a dangerous condition at that intersection, which may have caused or contributed to the incident? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
If the truck driver is determined to have been at fault, both the driver and his or her employer can be held liable. If a dangerous roadway caused or contributed to the incident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident, under California Government Code Section 911.2. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.