Jungil Lee, 82, was killed in a Huntington Beach car accident after a vehicle struck him near a street intersection. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred on Garfield Avenue near Persimmon Street the evening of December 18, 2013. Lee was apparently found on the roadway by officials. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators believe that an Infiniti G35 was traveling west on Garfield when it hit Lee. The driver was interviewed by investigators and released. No arrests or citations were reported.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jungil Lee for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 51 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Huntington Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 32 people died and 770 were injured due to pedestrian collisions in 2010.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news report, it is not clear if the pedestrian was in a crosswalk or if he had the right-of-way 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 also looking into whether the driver was speeding, impaired, distracted or otherwise negligent at the time. If the driver is believed to have been at fault, then, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. If a dangerous condition on the roadway caused or contributed to the incident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable.
An experienced Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.