Lang Nguyen, 62, was killed in a Westminster car accident after a vehicle hit him at a street intersection as he was crossing the roadway. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Brookhurst Street and Hazard Avenue in the early hours of April 23, 2012. Westminster police say Nguyen suffered major injuries and was unresponsive following the collision. He died shortly afterward from his injuries. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene. Investigators are still trying to determine if Nguyen was in the crosswalk at the time. They do not believe alcohol was a factor. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Lang Nguyen for their devastating loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 24 were injured as a result of Westminster pedestrian accidents. During the same year, 41 people died and 864 were injured as a result of Orange County pedestrian accidents.
Based on this news report, officials are still trying to determine if Nguyen was in a crosswalk at the time of the collision. 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."
Fault and Liability
I trust officials are looking into whether the driver was distracted, inattentive, speeding or otherwise negligent at the time. If the driver is determined to have been at fault, then, he or she can be held liable for the pedestrian’s wrongful death. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the accident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a California governmental entity must be filed within six months of the accident.