A 22-year-old woman, who was killed in an Irvine car accident the afternoon of July 26, 2011, has been identified by officials as 22-year-old Elizabeth Eddleman of Irvine. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal car crash occurred at the intersection of University Drive and Rosa Drew Lane in Irvine’s University Park community.
Who Had the Right-of-Way?
Police say a 2010 BMW coupe driven by Eddleman was southbound on Rosa Drew Lane when it was struck by a 2003 Mercury Mountaineer traveling west on University Drive. The impact caused the two vehicles to careen toward a postal truck and a minivan at the intersection. Eddleman, who had to be extricated from her vehicle, was transported to an area hospital, but died from her injuries. The driver of the SUV, a 26-year-old Corona del Mar woman, was transported to a local hospital in serious condition, but she is expected to survive. No other injuries were reported. Officials are still looking into which vehicle had the right-of-way at this intersection.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Elizabeth Eddleman for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. My heart also goes out to the other driver, who has apparently been severely injured in this collision. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 14 fatalities and 871 injuries involving car accidents in Irvine. During the same year, 141 people died and 13,373 were injured due to Orange County car accidents.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, officials are still trying to determine which driver had the right-of-way at the intersection at the time. The intersection of Rosa Drew and University is a fairly large one and is monitored by traffic lights. It appears that this accident occurred because one of the motorists may have attempted to beat the light, or in other words, may have run a red light at the intersection.
California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line 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.”
If it is determined that the driver of the SUV ran a red light, then, she could be held liable for Eddleman’s wrongful death. On the other hand, if it is determined that Eddleman failed to yield right-of-way, then, the other woman can seek compensation for her injuries and damages. An experienced Irvine personal injury lawyer will better advise injured victims or their families in such cases about their legal rights and options.