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California Car Accident Proves Fatal for 5-year-old Boy


Alex Arranaga, a 5-year-old boy, died recently from the injuries that he had sustained in a September 22, 2009 California car accident after he was struck by a car while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk on a bicycle. The tragic accident occurred as Alex, along with another 10-year-old boy, was attempting to cross Pacheco Boulevard in Los Banos, California, the Enterprise reports. The boys were on the bicycle and crossing the street when a motorist, who did not see the light turn red, struck the boys in the crosswalk. The 10-year-old was treated at a local hospital and released, but Alex died from his injuries. Police said drugs or alcohol were not involved. The 60-year-old driver was not cited or arrested pending an investigation.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of young Alex Arranaga for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to Alex’s family. I wish the other victim, the 10-year-old boy, the very best for a quick and complete recovery. Please keep this victim and Alex’s family in your prayers.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but five injuries involving bicycle accidents in Los Banos, California. In Merced County as a whole, two deaths and 53 injuries were reported as a result of bicycle accidents in 2007. Also during that period, 42 deaths and 1,231 injuries were reported in Merced County involving car accidents.

If this news report is accurate, it seems to me that the driver is at fault for causing this fatal collision. He ran the light because he did not see it turn red. If this news account is accurate, then the driver was negligent. In any bicycle accident case, determining if a bicyclist was negligent depends on whether or not he had the right to be where he was at the time of the collision. Under the California Vehicle Code, a bicyclist is a “vehicle” and the rider has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle such as a car. If the bicyclist in this case had the green light, he had the right to cross that intersection. Based on this report, the boys pushed the crosswalk button, waited for the light to turn green and only then began to cross the street. I don’t see any contributory negligence on the part of the boys who were on the bicycle.

Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer

The Arranaga family would be well-advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who can analyze all aspects of this tragic accident and make sure they get the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve. In any fatal car accident case where there is negligence or wrongdoing involved, families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical/funeral expenses and other damages. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer should also look into whether there was a dangerous condition on the roadway. If such a condition caused or contributed to this fatal car accident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable. Any such claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within six months of the accident or injury.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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