Eulogio Garcia Sanchez, 53, of Oxnard was killed in a vehicle versus pedestrian accident Sept. 3 after a car hit him as he was walking in an unmarked crosswalk, the Ventura County Star reports. Sanchez was reportedly walking across C Street at the corner of Elm Street when a pickup truck heading southbound struck him, Oxnard police officials said. The driver of the pickup, who has not yet been identified, stopped immediately and called 911.
Sanchez reportedly died at the scene of the Oxnard pedestrian accident. The driver told police that he saw Sanchez “at the last minute” and couldn’t avoid hitting him. Investigators have ruled out speed, drugs or alcohol as factors in this pedestrian accident. The driver has neither been arrested nor cited.
My heartfelt condolences to the family of Eulogio Sanchez.
It is still too early to tell exactly what happened or what caused this accident. The driver did what he should’ve done – stopped immediately and called 911. But I would be interested to see what caused him to strike Sanchez. In this case, the pedestrian was crossing at an “unmarked crosswalk,” which is the portion of the roadway at an intersection 10-feet wide that would connect opposite sides of the street. Every intersection contains legal crosswalks; marked or unmarked.
Cities make an argument against marked crosswalks saying that they create a false sense of security for pedestrians, meaning that pedestrians may step into a marked crosswalk without considering that oncoming drivers may not stop. But the other side of this issue is that unmarked crosswalks mislead drivers into thinking that pedestrians do not have the right of way. Any California licensed driver who has read his or her California Driver Handbook should know that pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. Here is a direct statement from the handbook: Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks.
I would strongly urge Sanchez’s family to contact a well-established Southern California personal injury lawyer, who will help investigate this accident and determine who was responsible for Sanchez’s death. The Sanchez family has suffered a tremendous loss and deserves rightful compensation. If I were representing the family, I would also look into why the city of Oxnard did not paint a crosswalk at that intersection. If they have been ignoring a dangerous condition at that location, they may be liable for the accident. Sanchez’s family would be well advised to act quickly because any claim against a California governmental agency must be filed within six months of the incident.