Bob Belanger, a 57-year-old crossing guard, was severely injured in a pedestrian accident outside Madera Elementary School in Simi Valley. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred the morning of Oct. 12 at the intersection of Royal Avenue and Vaquero Drive when a man driving an SUV hit the crossing guard during the busy morning hours as children and parents were arriving at the school.
Witnesses say Belanger was in the crosswalk at the time, helping a woman in her 20s across the street. According to bystanders, Belanger saw the SUV coming, before pushing the woman out of the way, moments before he was struck. The driver stopped and cooperated with the police. The victim was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The woman who was pushed out of the way was not injured. Police determined that the driver of the SUV was not impaired. No arrests or citations were reported. Officials are still investigating the incident and are seeking additional witnesses.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob Belanger and his family. We wish him the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
Based on this news report, it appears that the SUV drove through the crosswalk when people were walking across the street during a busy morning outside the school. Under California law, drivers are required to stop at a crosswalk and allow pedestrians to cross before proceeding.
California Vehicle Code section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Protecting Victims’ Rights
In this particular case, we trust officials are looking into whether the motorist who drove through the crosswalk was distracted, speeding, careless or otherwise negligent at the time of the crash. In such cases injured victims can seek compensation from at-fault drivers for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative therapy, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. Victims would also be well advised to promptly contact an experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and help ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.