Ciara Smith, 13, of Redondo Beach was killed in a bicycle accident after the bike she was riding was struck by a bus on a busy roadway. According to a City News Service report, the incident occurred the evening of May 5, 2017 at the northwest corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Knob Hill Avenue. Officials say the girl was riding her bicycle with a friend when she traveled into the roadway on Pacific Coast Highway and was struck by the southbound bus. The girl’s friend was uninjured.
Tragic Bicycle Accident
Police, based on criminal investigations, say they haven’t seen anything yet to suggest wrongdoing on the part of the bus driver. The bus, traveling the Route 232 between LAX and Long Beach, was operated not by Metro, but by MV Transportation, a contractor. Police have recovered at least two video surveillance tapes that likely captured the horrific incident. A neighbor told City News Service that this type of an accident occurs all too frequently on Pacific Coast Highway. In 2014, three women and a 6-year-old boy were killed outside a church at Pacific Coast Highway and Vincent Street.
Our condolences go out to the family members and friends of Ciara Smith for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
There were no fatalities, but 36 injuries reported as a result of bicycle accidents in the city of Redondo Beach, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Los Angeles County as a whole, 36 people died and 4,646 were injured due to bicycle accidents during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that the girl was struck and killed at a street intersection. Under California Vehicle Code, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. There are still a number of answered questions here.
Did the teenager, as officials have said, ride into the busy roadway or did she have the right of way? Was the bus driver distracted or negligent in some way? Was there a dangerous roadway condition, which may have caused or contributed to this incident? We trust officials will thoroughly investigate this case and determine whether these or other factors may have contributed to this fatal crash.
In such cases, families of deceased victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and help ensure that the at-fault parties are held accountable. A knowledgeable attorney will also be able to advise victims’ families about whether a dangerous roadway or intersection caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case the city or governmental agency can also be held liable for the incident. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.