A 10-year-old El Monte girl is in critical condition after she was hit by a car while crossing a busy intersection with her sister and cousin Friday night, according to an article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Mirissa Cortez was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with major head injuries after she and the two other girls were hit as they tried to cross Peck Road.
Mirissa’s sister, Cosvi, was treated for minor injuries and released while the girls’ 18-year-old cousin, yet to be identified, remained in the hospital with a back injury. According to the news report the accident happened at about 8:50 p.m. at the intersection of Peck Road and Ranchito Street, when 71-year-old Julian Weisberg of Thousand Oaks drove through the intersection and hit the girls, who were walking on the marked crosswalk. There were no arrests or citations. Officials are still investigating the circumstances of the crash.
But several eyewitnesses and local residents say that the intersection where this accident occurred is one of the busiest and most dangerous intersections in the area. Although there is a 35 mph speed limit, motorists rarely stick to it, observers say. Officials have reported four collisions at that intersection since December. Residents say the intersection needs at least a stop sign to make motorists stop for the pedestrians.
Neighbors say motorists rarely stop for pedestrians at the intersection, even if they are walking in the middle of the road and the pedestrians have the right of way! There is no question that pedestrians must exercise caution when crossing the street. But clearly, this is a dangerous intersection. Four reported collisions in six months! How many near collisions were there? How many pedestrians were nearly hit?
Obviously pedestrians are more vulnerable to fatal injuries in a traffic accident than motorists are. Annually, for the last few years, there have been over 100,000 pedestrian traffic accident injuries and over 6,000 deaths in the United States. Motorists and pedestrians are not the only ones who have to exercise a higher degree of caution to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. Cites, counties, states and federal agencies need to do there part in making our roadways safe and fixing dangerous roadways and intersections.
In this case of this 10-year old El Monte girl, it sounds like either the city of El Monte or the county of Los Angeles may have some responsibility for this accident. If indeed the intersection where the accident occurred is unsafe, why wasn’t it reconfigured or regulated in some manner (traffic lights, stop signs and etc.). If our attorneys at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys were representing these girls, our experts would certainly have already surveyed the accident scene, looking for evidence to be used against all responsible parties, including governmental agencies.
Remember that claims against a California governmental agency must be properly made within 180 days from the date of loss. A lawsuit against a California governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the agencies denial of the claim. There are exceptions. These time limits should not be confused with the California two year statute for filing a personal injury lawsuit (to which there are exceptions as well).
Call of email me with your questions regarding any type of traffic accident. John Bisnar, 800-259-6373. Confidential consultations are provided without cost or obligation.