James Frederik Kuhr, 56, of Florida, was killed in an Ontario car accident after he was hit by an SUV while crossing the street. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred on November 11, 2011 at the intersection of Francis Street and Hellman Avenue near Ontario International Airport. Police say Kuhr parked his big-rig along Francis Street and tried to cross the street at the intersection when he was struck by a black 2001 Mitsubishi Montero, which was turning left from Hellman onto Francis. Kuhr was transported to an area hospital where he died four days later. An investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of James Frederik Kuhr for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 49 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Ontario. In San Bernardino County as a whole, 39 people died and 440 were injured due to pedestrian accidents, during the same year.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news report, it appears that the victim was crossing the street at an intersection, which is regulated by a two-way stop sign. Traffic on Hellman is required to stop and yield right-of-way to traffic on Francis. It is unclear exactly where Kuhr was crossing at the intersection. Motorists, under California law, are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
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.”
I trust officials are looking into whether the driver of the Mitsubishi stopped at the stop sign or if he or she failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrian. If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for Kuhr’s wrongful death.
In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. Families of victims would be well advised to contact an experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable.