Jekaterina Ferguson, 25, of Pacific Beach, was killed after a tow-truck driver ran a red light and collided with her car on November 6, 2008 in Sorrento Valley, San Diego. According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the tow truck driver was northbound on Camino Santa Fe when he ran a red light at Trade Street and struck Ferguson’s Hyundai sedan. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with injuries. Ferguson was pronounced dead at the hospital. Police officials did not release the name of the tow truck driver.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Jekaterina Ferguson for their sudden and tragic loss.
Based on the newspaper report, it appears that the driver of the tow truck was at fault in this 11/6/08 fatal auto accident. He apparently drove right through a red light and crashed into Ferguson’s Hyundai. Running a red light is, of course, a violation of the California Vehicle Code. There are various Vehicle Code sections, part of the “Rules of the Road,” which address motorists’ behavior at intersections and making turns at intersections, especially those controlled by traffic signals.
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 family of Jekaterina Ferguson would be well-advised to retain the services of a skilled California auto accident attorney, who will help them go after the negligent parties and secure the compensation they rightfully deserve. In this case, the driver of the tow-truck and his employer should be held liable for the accident and fatal injuries. I’m sure traffic investigators are also looking into whether the tow-truck driver was operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Whether or not the tow-truck driver was under the influence, he could face criminal vehicular manslaughter charges. If he is found to have committed a traffic violation (such as running the red light), the truck driver could face a misdemeanor manslaughter charge. But if he is found to have been intoxicated at the time of the accident, he will most likely face a felony charge.
In auto accidents where there is negligence or wrongdoing involved, families of deceased victims will also be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Such claims compensate victims’ families for the loss of a family member who has been killed because of someone else’s negligence.