Brigitte Jasso, 44, was killed in a Riverside County car accident after she was struck by two vehicles while crossing a busy roadway. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred the night of January 26, 2012 on Indio Boulevard east of Biskra Street. Officials say Jasso was first struck by a motorcyclist. Moments later, a black Ford Taurus hit the victim. She sustained fatal injuries. The motorcyclist sustained scrapes, bruises and some broken bones. Officials are still investigating the cause of the crash. No arrests or citations have been issued yet.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Brigitte Jasso for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Riverside County Pedestrian Accidents
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 10 injuries involving Indio pedestrian accidents. During the same year 39 people died and 370 were injured in Riverside County pedestrian accidents.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news report, it is not clear if Jasso was crossing in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Under California law, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians who are walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” The same section also states: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
If it is determined that the motorcyclist or the other driver were at fault in this case, then, the at-fault driver could be held liable for the woman’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages.
A knowledgeable Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining he roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a public entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident.