Police are looking for a second vehicle that might have been involved in a high-speed car accident that fatally injured a bicyclist, 54-year-old James Findley, in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles. According to a KTLA news report, officials got a call the night of Feb. 11 from a witness who reported that two vehicles were speeding down South Broadway when one of them collided with a bicyclist who was crossing at West 82nd Street. Investigators could not confirm whether the vehicles were racing before the crash.
Findley was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver who struck Findley and several other parked cars remained at the scene and was being detained by police. Police are searching for the driver of the second vehicle, which fled the scene. No description of that driver or the missing vehicle was available. Investigators are also looking for any surveillance video that may show the incident.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members of James Findley for their tragic loss. Family members told KTLA that Findley lived with his sister about half a block from he crash scene.
Crashes Involving Excessive Speed
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities. Speeding is not just about breaking the law. When a driver speeds, there is a greater potential for loss of vehicle control. The effectiveness of occupant protection equipment such as seatbelts is greatly reduced. The greater the speed, the longer the vehicle’s stopping distance. And finally, crashes involving high speed result in severe injuries or even death.
Laws and Liability Issues
Racing on a public roadway is not just dangerous, but it’s also prohibited under the law. California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a) states: “A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. In addition, one of the drivers in this case fled the scene of a fatal crash, which is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a).
In such cases, families of deceased accident victims 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. A knowledgeable attorney will also be able to advise victims regarding how their own auto insurance policy might apply in cases where the at-fault driver is not found or is uninsured or underinsured.