Maria Vancinijavier, 51, was killed in a Santa Ana car accident as she attempted to cross the street.
According to a City News Service report, the fatal accident occurred in the 1600 block of West First Street the evening of March 13, 2014.
Police say a 2001 Volvo was traveling east on First Street when Vancinijavier crossed the street. The driver of the car swerved to the left, but was unable to avoid colliding with the pedestrian, police said. The driver called 911 and remained at the scene.
Vancinijavier was rushed to a local trauma center where she died the following morning. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Maria Vancinijavier for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), seven fatalities and 139 injuries were reported due to pedestrian accidents in Santa Ana.
In Orange County as a whole, 38 people died and 773 were injured due to pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
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.”
I trust officials in this case are still looking into whether the driver was negligent in any way. He absolutely did the right thing by stopping at the scene, calling the authorities and cooperating with them.
In such cases, if the driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death.
An experienced Santa Ana personal injury lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident.
Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a government entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident under California Government Code Section 911.2.