Abel Flores-Castellanos, 76, a beloved crossing guard was struck and fatally injured by a vehicle in Monterey Park the afternoon of January 27, 2015. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred when Flores-Castellanos was sitting on a wall at the intersection of Garfield and Elmgate avenues. Investigators said a 19-year-old motorist veered off the road and into the wall where the victim was sitting. Police are investigating whether the teen driver had a valid license. He did stop and remain at the scene. No arrests or citations were reported pending an official investigation.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Flores-Castellanos for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Monterey Park Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2012 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, one fatality and 31 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in the city of Monterey Park. Also, citywide, three people died and 225 were injured in traffic accidents during the same year. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 585 deaths and 50,622 injuries were reported as a result of traffic accidents in 2012.
What Caused This Crash?
Based on this news report, it appears that the teen driver lost control of the vehicle he was driving and crashed into the wall where the crossing guard was sitting. There are still a number of questions here. Why did the teen driver lose control of the vehicle? Was he under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Was he distracted or inattentive at the time? Was he driving at an excessive rate of speed? Did he have a valid driver’s license? These are probably just some of the questions investigators are asking to determine the facts of this case.
In such cases the at-fault or negligent driver can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.
If Flores-Castellanos was on the job at the time, his family may be able to collect workers’ compensation death benefits from his employer, most likely the school district. A knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims’ families about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.