A 28-year-old female driver was arrested in Hemet on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence after she fatally struck a bicyclist on a city street, the local NBC news station reports. The 38-year-old bicyclist was reportedly riding on North Yale Street at about 8 p.m. Dec. 9 when the accident occurred, police told Channel 4.
The driver, Desiree Bliss, told officers that she was “distracted by something behind her” and turned to look back. She said she hit Danny Walton just as she turned her attention back to the road. Walton was taken to Hemet Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.
This is such an unfortunate and tragic event for Walton and his family. This tragedy should go out as a warning to everyone, especially in the holiday season when parties and drinking are at an all-time high. When Desiree Bliss got into her car that night, she probably never thought that she was about to be responsible for taking a life and spending some serious jail time. Let this incident be a lesson to all of us as we celebrate the holidays.
The other aspect of this story is that there is no significant dangerous roadway condition along the 100 block of North Yale Street that could have caused this fatal accident. The area is poorly lit, but it is also flat, clear and straight. The accident location is just north of Florida Avenue and Highway 74 and Hemet Valley Medical Center is less than a mile from the accident scene.
Walton’s family would be well-served in consulting with one of Southern California’s stronger personal injury firms that specializes in pedestrian accidents and bicycle versus auto accidents. They need an experienced personal injury lawyer on their side right away to investigate this accident. You can bet that Bliss’ insurance company has their investigators looking into this incident already trying to find ways to blame the accident on Walton.
Let us pray for Walton’s family and hope they get the closure and justice they so badly need.