Cyrus Cisneros, 2, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident when a car struck him and his grandfather, the evening of September 2, 2011. According to a KTLA news report, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Apolena Way and Quito Way in Palmdale. Cyrus and his grandfather were crossing the road when a car turned the corner and struck them. The toddler suffered multiple traumatic injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after the crash. The 60-year-old grandfather was hospitalized with injuries, but he is expected to survive. The 49-year-old male driver told the authorities that the sun had temporarily blinded him. An investigation is ongoing.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of little Cyrus Cisneros following this tragic car accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 37 people were injured in Palmdale pedestrian accidents. During that same year, there were 179 fatalities and 4,918 injuries reported due to Los Angeles County pedestrian accidents.
What Caused This Fatal Collision?
The driver in this case claims that he could not see the pedestrians because of the setting sun. The pedestrians were apparently crossing at an intersection. It is not clear if they were crossing in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. California law requires motorists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians 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.”
Fault and Liability
I trust officials are looking into whether the driver was under the influence, distracted, speeding or otherwise negligent at the time. If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she could be held liable for the child’s wrongful death and the man’s injuries. Victims’ families in such cases would be well-advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.