Santa Rosa Crosswalk Accident Kills Man in Wheelchair
Richard Trenam, a 58-year-old man, died after being critically injured in a Santa Rosa auto accident, the Press Democrat reports. Trenam was on life support after being struck and injured by 24-year-old Antonio Salano Villa, 24, in a Guerneville Road crosswalk near Coddington the morning of March 20, 2009.
My heart goes out to all those who knew and loved Richard Trenam. Apparently, he survived an earlier auto accident that left him brain-injured and in a wheelchair. I offer my deepest sympathies to all who will miss Trenam.
The newspaper reports that Villa told police he had the green light when the collision occurred. I would definitely treat that with skepticism. Officials say there was no indication Villa was not speeding at the time of the crash. It would be very important for officials to interview eyewitnesses who saw the collision and can testify to what happened here. Something doesn’t quite add up.
What officials can confirm is that Trenam was in the crosswalk at the time of the crash. California law is very clear when it comes to the rights of pedestrians who are walking (in this case Trenam was in a wheelchair) across the street. 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.”
Trenam’s family would be well-advised to contact a reputed California pedestrian accident lawyer, who will carefully examine the facts of the case, interview eyewitnesses, identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable for what happened to Trenam. A skilled California personal injury lawyer will also look into whether a dangerous condition on that Santa Rosa roadway or intersection had played a part in this fatal accident. If that was the case, then the city could be held liable for allowing a dangerous condition to exist on a public roadway. Please remember that any claim against a public or governmental entity must be filed within six months of an accident.