Los Angeles police have arrested 30-year-old Henry Yovanni Moreno of South Gate after he struck and killed an 11-month-old girl and injured her 5-year-old sister and mother as they were crossing the street in a crosswalk. According to this news report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the family was struck at Bonnie Brae Street and Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles County as the mother was pushing the two children in a stroller the evening of February 1, 2009. The three victims were in a marked crosswalk. Other vehicles had stopped for them, but Moreno who was driving a black Honda, did not stop and ran them over.
Police say Moreno was driving under the influence at the time of the collision. He apparently fled the scene of the crash and abandoned his 1991 Honda near Staples Center at 12th Street and Figueroa Avenue. Moreno was arrested shortly afterward.
What a horrible tragedy for this family! I offer my deepest sympathies to this mother who saw one of her children struck and killed in front of her eyes. Please keep the 5-year-old girl in your prayers as she fights for her life. The girl and her family will be in my prayers and I wish her and the mother a quick and complete recovery.
There is no question that Moreno should face criminal charges in connection with this horrific hit-and-run accident. He has apparently not been charged yet, but based on news reports, he should be facing felony drunk driving, hit-and-run as well as vehicular manslaughter charges. He should not only face criminal charges, but must also be made to pay for the injuries, loss, damage and heartache he has caused this family. Moreno should be held civilly liable for what he has done to this family.
In this case, the mother was crossing the street as she pushed the stroller in a marked crosswalk. 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.”
The family of this young victim would be well-advised to contact an experienced Southern California pedestrian accident attorney, who will fight for their legal rights and make sure they receive the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve. This is clearly a case where the death of the child was caused by an individual’s wrongdoing and/or negligence. The family should be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Moreno and other negligent parties, if any. A skilled personal injury attorney will be able to examine other factors that may have contributed to this crash such as a dangerous roadway or intersection. The best personal injury lawyers will provide a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.