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Orange County Traffic Collision Kills Elderly Woman


An 86-year-old Seal Beach woman, who died in an auto accident on November 13, 2008, has been identified as Dorothy Avery. The woman was broadsided by a man who ran a red light as she was turning into the Leisure World retirement community. Avery apparently had the green light and was turning left from Seal Beach Boulevard onto Golden Rain Road in her 1997 Ford Taurus when she was hit by a 23-year-old man driving a 1994 Acura Legend. Our source for this blog is this news report in The Orange County Register.

The driver of the Acura, who has not yet been identified, was not arrested pending further investigation, Seal Beach police officers said. Police also say they don’t believe that the driver of the Acura was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that there are no indications that the driver was distracted or talking on the cell phone at the time of the crash. Avery was pronounced dead at a local hospital a few hours after the traffic collision.

My heart goes out to the family of Dorothy Avery who was tragically killed in this horrific accident. They will be in my prayers.

There are various Vehicle Code sections in California, part of the “Rules of the Road,” which address behavior and making turns at intersections, especially those controlled by traffic signals. We all know that it’s illegal to run a red light, but very often many of us experience the urge to “beat the light” or take a chance by speeding through a traffic signal. Sometimes, as in this Seal Beach fatal auto accident, the consequences of such a rash and negligent act can be lethal.

California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.” The driver of the Acura obviously broke this rule and went into the intersection in the path of Avery’s car, thereby causing this fatal crash.

I’d urge the family of Dorothy Avery to retain the services of an experienced Orange County auto accident attorney. The driver of the Acura would and should be held liable for Avery’s death. A skilled personal injury lawyer would also look into whether the driver of the Acura was on the job or running an errand for someone at the time of the accident. If that is the case, then the man’s employer or the person he was running the errand for, could also be held liable.

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