A pedestrian was killed in a Los Angeles car accident the night of September 26, 2009 when a driver who was fleeing from California Highway Patrol officials struck and killed the man. According to an Associated Press news report, the victim who has not been identified yet, was in a crosswalk on Ventura Boulevard in the Woodland Hills area when he was hit by 26-year-old Hector Vidal who was being pursued by CHP officers. Vidal reportedly, at one point during the pursuit, also traded gunfire with police. The victim died at the scene. Vidal was eventually arrested after rear-ending an SUV.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim who died tragically in this car accident. He was obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved this man. Please keep them in your prayers.
Pedestrian Accidents in Los Angeles
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 90 fatalities and 2,690 injuries occurred in the city of Los Angeles involving pedestrian accidents. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 210 deaths and 5,095 injuries were reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in 2007.
The news account does not state why the police pursuit began or what crime Hector Vidal had committed. The fact that he was firing at CHP officials shows that he was armed and dangerous. The report also does not say how fast Vidal was going, but he was obviously driving recklessly when he struck the victim, who was legally crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.
Car Accident Liability Issues
California law states motorists should yield right-of-way to pedestrians who are walking in a marked crosswalk. 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.”
In any serious injury or fatal car accident, it would be in the best interest of victims or the families of deceased victims to consult with a truly reputed Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the case. In this particular incident, it is important to make sure that CHP officials followed proper protocol in pursuing the suspect. If it is determined here that the officials had not followed correct procedures, then the family of this pedestrian accident victim may be eligible to file a claim against the governmental agencies involved. The best personal injury lawyers will always provide a free and comprehensive consultation to injured victims and/or their families. Please remember that any claim involving a California governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the accident or injury.