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Blind Pedestrian Injured in Costa Mesa Car Crash


A blind man was injured in a Costa Mesa car collision that involved a car and an SUV, the Daily Pilot reports. Officials say the crash occurred at the intersection of Santa Ana Avenue and East 17th Street the evening of July 17, 2013. Police say a Toyota Sequoia SUV turned left in front of the Honda Civic causing the car to roll over on to the pedestrian, who was standing in the southwest corner of the intersection. The pedestrian, an Irvine resident, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Both drivers had a green light according to police.

The SUV’s driver, 76-year-old James Dickens, complained of pain to his left wrist and was taken to a local hospital while the car’s driver, 21-year-old Kaitlyn Wetzel, complained of knee pain. She was released at the scene. Officials are still looking into what caused this collision. Anyone with information is asked to contact traffic investigators at 714-754-5264.

Costa Mesa Crash Statistics

Two people were killed and 49 were injured as a result of pedestrian accidents in Costa Mesa, according to the California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). During the same year, four fatalities and 752 injuries were reported as a result of traffic collisions citywide.

Right-of-Way Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the impact from the collision caused the Honda to roll over and strike the pedestrian who was standing at the corner of the intersection. Police say that the driver of the SUV made a left turn in front of the Honda Civic. Both drivers had the green light. So who yields the right-of-way in such a situation? California Vehicle Code states that the driver who is making the left turn must yield the right-of-way to the oncoming vehicle.

California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”

Fault and Liability

If the driver of the SUV is determined to have made an illegal left turn, then, he can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of physical therapy, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer who will analyze all facets of the incident and ensure that the negligent party is held liable.

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