Erick Wiswell, 24, and Donald Anderson, 30, both of Long Beach, have been arrested and jailed on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving with great bodily injury after a fatal pedestrian accident, according to a story in the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Thursday morning, the two Long Beach men were apparently engaging in mutual road rage while driving north on Paramount Blvd. in Long Beach at 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. According to Long Beach Police Department spokesperson Nancy Pratt, Wiswell, the driver of the front car, slammed on his brakes and then Anderson, the driver of the following car, swerved left to avoid a collision and struck a pedestrian, Lois Kay Rahimam, 55, of Signal Hill.
Rahimam, who regularly walked the neighborhood in the morning, was rushed to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where she later died.
A senseless death of an innocent pedestrian. A women’s life cut short way before her time. Two men who are rightfully charged with and probably will be convicted of a felony – vehicular manslaughter.
A totally innocent person killed, in the prime of their life, by two men who are on their way to going to prison and being forever branded as convicted felons. Certainly, whatever their dispute was, it wasn’t worth this. It wasn’t worth living the rest of their lives, knowing that there immaturity and recklessness killed an innocent person.
Wiswell, although he didn’t hit Lois Rahimam, is just as guilty as Anderson, who apparently did. By engaging in reckless driving together, whatever damages to third parties or property that either of them cause is their common commission of a crime or traffic violation, they are equally responsible, both criminally and civilly.
The District Attorney will go after both men with criminal charges. Lois Rahimam’s heirs will go after them both with civil charges. They will both pay for this for the rest of their lives, if indeed the facts are as reported.
The Press-Telegram report quotes witnesses that contend that there are many accidents in this area and that drivers regularly speed in that area. Based upon the reckless affirmative acts of the two drivers, I do not see a claim by Lois Rahimam’s heirs against the city of Long Beach for any negligence. If this is a dangerous area of Paramount Blvd., it does not appear that anything the city did contributed to this pedestrian accident or that there was anything the city could have reasonably done to prevent it. Maybe it is time for Long Beach to take a careful look at the traffic patterns to see if there is something they can reasonably do to make the area safer.
Please, anyone with information regarding this accident, call Detective David Lauro of LBPD Accident Investigations at 562-570-7355. Let’s help protect the innocent and the victims, while holding the wrongdoers accountable.