Justin Ames, 14, died Aug. 22, in a San Bernardino bicycle accident when a San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department patrol car struck and killed him south of Drummond Avenue in Highland, the San Bernardino Sun reports. Justin and a friend were riding their bicycles near the intersection of Drummond and Ninth Street when one of the patrol cars that was reportedly responding to a disturbance call, struck Justin. The patrol cars did not have lights or sirens on and Justin was not wearing a helmet.
My deepest sympathies to the family of Justin Ames. Please keep them in your prayers.
Initial eyewitness reports in this accident are contradictory. One witness said the boys did not stop at a stop sign, but also added that the boys may not have seen the patrol cars because a tractor trailer parked on Ninth Street was obscuring the “already-difficult” view of the intersection.
If I were a member of this teenager’s family, I would want to know how this could happen. Why was the patrol car traveling without lights and sirens if the officer was responding to a call? What was it about that Highland street intersection that made it dangerous? Did the intersection have any obstructions other than the parked big rig that hampered the driver’s view or the boys’ view of traffic?
Justin’s family should be consulting with a reputed Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys attorney, who will help investigate the incident fully. A skilled auto accident attorney will also look into all the factors that may have affected this auto versus bicycle accident such as the involvement of another vehicle and the dangerous nature of that intersection which was known to the neighbors. If the sheriff’s deputy is found to be at fault for the accident, then he and his employer, the County of San Bernardino could be held liable for the accident and the family’s tragic loss. In California, claims against governmental agencies must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident.