Kum Lim, 88, died after the motorized wheelchair she was in was struck by a vehicle as she was trying to cross the street. According to an article in The Orange County Register, Lim was driving a Rascal mobility wheelchair on Lampson Avenue near Monarch Street the morning of February 9, 2009 when she tried to cross the street. A passing driver hit Lim’s wheelchair injuring her severely. Lim was taken to an area hospital where she died a few hours after the accident. Garden Grove police are not sure where and how Lim was crossing the street. The driver has not been cited or arrested pending an investigation.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Kum Lim for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved this woman. Please keep them in your prayers.
It would be extremely important in this case to find out whether or not Kum Lim was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk or at an intersection. Whether it is a pedestrian or a person on a wheelchair or a bicycle, California law requires motorists to yield right-of-way to those crossing at intersections.
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.”
If the driver of the vehicle was at fault then he or she could be held liable for this accident and the wrongful death of Kum Lim. If the driver of the vehicle is determined to have been driving under the influence then he or she could face vehicular manslaughter charges as well. Kum Lim’s family would be well-advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney, who will carefully examine the accident reports, identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable for their actions.