A 33-year-old man was killed in a Venice car accident after a driver struck him in a marked crosswalk. According to a City News Service report, the fatal crash occurred around midnight on September 20, 2013 at the intersection of Lincoln and Venice boulevards. Officials say that the man, a Santa Monica resident, was in a marked crosswalk, but was crossing against a traffic signal. The driver was traveling west on Venice when the collision occurred. The driver left the scene, but was later arrested and identified as 33-year-old Kara Keihle of Venice. She has been arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of this deceased victim. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 100 fatalities and 2,512 injuries involving pedestrian accidents. During the same year, 195 people died and 4,535 were injured due to pedestrian collisions during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the woman struck the pedestrian who was walking in a marked crosswalk. However, officials say, that the man may have been crossing against a light. Regardless of who was at fault, the law requires motorists to stop and remain at the scene of an injury or fatal crash.
California Vehicle Code 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
Rights of Victims’ Families
I’m relieved to note that the hit-and-run driver in this case has been apprehended. Often, in hit-and-run cases, it is the victims who are left holding the bills. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Victims’ families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.