Cruz Marina Hurtado, 61, of Palm Desert died in a Rancho Mirage auto versus pedestrian accident after she was hit by a vehicle on Highway 111. According to this news report in The Desert Sun, Hurtado tried to cross Highway 111 at Rancho Las Palmas Drive the afternoon of February 28, 2009 when the accident occurred, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department officials said. Police investigators say Hurtado was not using a crosswalk when she was hit by the vehicle, which was northbound on the highway. The investigation is still continuing and anyone who saw this incident is asked to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-836-1600.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Cruz Marina Hurtado for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2006 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were two Riverside pedestrian accident fatalities and six injuries involving pedestrians in Rancho Mirage. In Riverside County as a whole, 48 fatalities and 436 injuries were attributed to pedestrian accidents during the same period.
If this newspaper report is accurate, Hurtado was not crossing the street in a crosswalk. But the question here is who saw Hurtado crossing the street? Were there other eyewitnesses who saw the exact location at which she crossed the street? Was the driver of the vehicle that hit Hurtado in a position to stop when he or she saw Hurtado crossing the roadway? Was there a dangerous condition on the roadway that prevented the driver from seeing the pedestrian crossing? All these are important questions to ask in such a pedestrian accident.
Cruz Marino Hurtado’s family will be well-served to retain a California pedestrian accident attorney who is experienced in auto versus pedestrian fatal accidents. A skilled personal injury lawyer will also look into whether there was a dangerous condition on the roadway that was a factor in this fatal pedestrian accident. If that was the case then the governmental agency responsible for maintaining that Rancho Mirage roadway could be held liable. Please remember that any claim against a governmental agency in California must be filed within six months of the accident.