Five-year-old Sterling Faulkner suffered major injuries in a January 7, 2009 Bakersfield pedestrian accident after he was struck by a drunk driver while crossing the street with his mother. According to this ABC news report, Sterling and his mother, Spring Faulkner, were crossing O Street just north of 34th Street when a white 1970s pickup truck struck him. Spring Faulkner was not injured.
The driver of the pickup, John T. Clark III, 45, fled the scene of the crash. Officers located the vehicle in a nearby parking lot and eyewitnesses identified it as the hit-and-run vehicle. Shortly afterwards, police arrested Clark when they received reports that he was attempting to steal another vehicle in the area. He was charged with felony DUI causing injury, felony hit-and-run with injury, DUI with priors and driving with a suspended license. If you witnessed this accident, please call the Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111.
My heart goes out to this little boy who was injured in this horrible pedestrian accident as well as his mother who went through the nightmare of watching her child get hit by a vehicle. I wish little Sterling the very best for a quick and complete recovery. He will certainly be in my prayers.
The driver, John T. Clark III, certainly deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I trust he will get jail time given his prior DUI record. Hit-and-run causing injury is also a serious crime in California. According to California Vehicle Code 20001 (a): “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.” In this case, not only did the driver drink and get behind the wheel, but he also struck down a child and fled the scene. Despicable!
Sterling’s family should consult a reputed California personal injury attorney, who will also look into other factors that may have caused this crash such as a dangerous roadway. If that is determined to be a factor then the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway may also be held liable for the accident and injuries caused as a result. Please remember that any claim against a governmental agency must be filed properly within six months of the accident.