Ella Mae Day, 83, of Thousand Oaks, was fatally injured in a Ventura car accident when a car struck and pinned her on the sidewalk. According to a news report in The Ventura County Star, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred on Calle Almendro in Thousand Oaks, the afternoon of December 7, 2011. Officials say she was walking on the sidewalk when Marshall Bowen, 80, backed out of a driveway and hit her. Day was pinned under the car and pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Bowen was not arrested and alcohol does not appear to have been a factor. It is not clear if he will be cited for the fatal crash. An investigation is pending.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Ella Mae Day for their terrible loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Ventura Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), no one was killed but 23 were injured in pedestrian accidents in Thousand Oaks. During that same year, there were 10 fatalities and 196 injuries reported due to pedestrian accidents in Ventura County.
Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
Based on this news report, officials say that Marshall Bowen did not see Ella Mae Day walking across the driveway on the sidewalk as he pulled out. Under California law, drivers pulling out of public or private driveways must yield right-of-way to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21804 (a): “The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic.” Vehicles entering traffic “shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
It is not clear as to why Bowen did not yield the right of way to Day. Was he distracted, inattentive or otherwise negligent? If he is determined to have been at fault, Bowen could be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. Families of deceased victims in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Ventura personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. In cases involving negligence, the victim’s family can pursue compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, lost future wages, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages.