Alan Whitcomb, a 45-year-old man, died in a Garden Grove pedestrian accident on December 3, 2008 when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. According to this news report in The Orange County Register, the 12/3/08 fatal accident occurred while Whitcomb was crossing Garden Grove Boulevard at Yockey Street. Whitcomb was taken to an area hospital where he died. The driver has not been cited or arrested pending an investigation by the Garden Grove Police Department.
My heart goes out to the family of Alan Whitcomb for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
Apparently this is the second fatal pedestrian accident at that exact same intersection in the last nine months. In April, a 70-year-old grandmother was killed crossing the street at the same location with her grandchild. Thankfully, the toddler in that case was uninjured. There is no question that the City of Garden Grove needs to look into this intersection and see if there is a dangerous condition that needs to be fixed.
If a dangerous roadway condition did play a part in this fatal accident then the city of Garden Grove can be held liable for the death and injuries suffered in both these pedestrian accidents. Under the provisions of California Government Code section 835, a public entity is liable for injuries to a person because of the condition of public property when the injured person proves that:
• There was a dangerous condition on the public property at the time of injury • The injury was proximately caused by that dangerous condition • The dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury of the kind that occurred • The public entity had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition and sufficient time before the injury to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.
California Government Code 835.4 states that a public entity may absolve itself from liability for creating or failing to remedy a dangerous condition by showing that it would have been too costly and impractical for them to have done anything else.
I would urge Alan Whitcomb’s family to retain the services of an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney who can go into the details of the case and help determine exactly who or what caused this tragic accident and who should be held responsible. If the City of Garden Grove knew about this dangerous condition and did nothing about it, then they could be held liable for this tragic accident. Please note that a personal injury claim against a government agency must be properly filed within six months of the date of injury.