Axel Quiroz, a first-grader at Ramona-Alessandro Elementary School, died in a San Bernardino pedestrian accident as he was crossing a city street with his father and sister on his way to school. The Riverside Press Enterprise reports the boy died after he was struck in a crosswalk at Fifth Street and Cabrera Avenue by a driver, who said he couldn’t see the child because he was “blinded by the glare of the rising sun.”
The driver, 65-year-old Joseph Breaux of Rialto, has not been cited or arrested. Police say it appears that sunlight may have been a factor in the collision. The driver has no prior record of traffic or criminal violations. He didn’t seem to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs either, police say. Witnesses said the family had the green light to cross the road and the boy had just stepped off the curb when Breaux’s 1971 Buick Riviera hit him. Axel’s father managed to pull his daughter back, but couldn’t get to his son in time. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office is reviewing the case for possible charges.
Please keep the family of little Axel Quiroz in your prayers. I offer my deepest condolences to them for their tragic loss.
There is no question that it was driver error that caused this fatal pedestrian accident. In this case, the boy had the green light to cross and the motorist should have stopped. Going by the report, Breaux claims he couldn’t see the boy in his moment of temporary blindness. It’ll be interesting to find out if Breaux also claims not to have seen the lights on the street.
This accident is another grim reminder of how just one error by a driver – experienced or otherwise – can have devastating consequences. The Quiroz family needs to be talking to a qualified Southern California pedestrian accident attorney without delay. If I were representing Axel’s family, I would also look into that intersection to see if there were other visual obstructions or dangerous conditions – issues that the City of San Bernardino may have possible known about.
As our children head back to school, it is imperative to make sure that they are safe on the road. According to an organization called Safe Moves, nearly 7,000 children are killed and 50,000 children are permanently disabled each year during the back-to-school season. The leading causes of traffic-related deaths and injuries to children are crossing the street mid-block; riding a bicycle into the street without stopping; riding a bicycle without a helmet; not obeying traffic signs and signals; improper use of child restraint seats; motorists running red lights and stop signs; and motorists turning into the path of a child. For more back-to-school traffic safety tips, please visit this Web site.