A 55-year-old man was killed in a pedestrian accident in San Pedro the night of May 6 after he was struck at a street intersection. According to a news report in The Daily Breeze, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection of Third and Gaffey streets. The driver was traveling north on Gaffey Street.
Officials say there is no crosswalk at the intersection, but pedestrians always have the right of way when crossing form corner to corner. There is no traffic light at the intersection, which only has a two-way stop sign on Third (not on Gaffey). The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene. Officials say there was no indication that the driver may have been under the influence. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of the deceased pedestrian. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
LA Pedestrian Accidents
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2014 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 105 deaths and 2,769 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in the city of Los Angeles. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 220 people died and 4,856 suffered injuries due to pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the pedestrian may have been walking in an unmarked crosswalk when he was struck by the vehicle. California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a) states that all motorists must yield the right of way to pedestrians who are walking in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Motorists are required under this section to use due care and stop/slow down at marked and unmarked crosswalks or anywhere where pedestrians are crossing.
In this particular case, we trust officials are looking into whether the motorist was distracted, speeding or failed to yield to the pedestrian. It would also be important to look into whether there were any dangerous conditions at the intersection such as poor lighting or poor intersection design, which may have caused or contributed to the incident. In such cases, an at-fault driver may be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death.
A knowledgeable Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous or defective intersection contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held financially responsible. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident.