Johoney Lobos, 19, a Cal State Northridge student, was killed in a pedestrian hit-and-run accident on Sept. 23 while walking in a Northridge crosswalk. According to an article in the Los Angeles Daily News, Lobos was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk in the 10300 block of North Lindley Avenue when a suspected drunk driver in a white sport utility vehicle struck her. The driver fled the scene.
Police found the SUV near Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard later and also located and arrested 42-year-old Marcia Mott Roberts, charging her with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of the accident.
My heart goes out to the family of Johoney Lobos, who died tragically in this DUI hit-and-run. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
I’m certain that the hit-and-run driver, Marcia Roberts, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. She must also be held civilly responsible for this horrible accident and causing the death of young Johoney Lobos. Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol is always wrong. But when you add to that the act by striking a person down and then leaving them to die on the street you deserve to be put away in jail.
Lobos’ family should be talking immediately with an experienced Southern California pedestrian accident attorney to go after Roberts and obtain the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve. Roberts may not have auto insurance or may lack sufficient coverage. A knowledgeable auto accident attorney will then be able to advise Lobos’ family if they could seek compensation through the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in Lobos’ own auto insurance policy or even her parents’ auto policy.
Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks. California’s Vehicle Code section 21950 mandates that vehicle drivers yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing a roadway within any marked or un-marked crosswalk. Section 21950 provides that a vehicle driver approaching a pedestrian within a marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce their speed and take any other action relating as is necessary to safeguard the safety of pedestrians. The code section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for their own safety.
Right-of-Way at Crosswalks
(a) 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, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
(c) 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 the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.