A 19-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run the morning of February 7, 2009 after officials say, she struck and seriously injured a bicyclist. According to this news blog in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the car versus bicycle collision occurred in Mira Mesa and the 51-year-old bicycle accident victim suffered serious head injuries as well as injuries to his back and sides. The injured victim’s name has not yet been released.
The hit-and-run driver, who was also not indentified, was apparently driving a Volvo on Calle Cristobal near Camino Miranda when she drifted into the bike lane and struck the bicyclist from behind. The driver did not stop, but left the scene of the accident. She returned to the scene 30 minutes later when officials arrested her. Police say alcohol does not appear to be a factor in this crash.
I’m relieved that this San Diego County bicyclist was not catastrophically or fatally injured. I wish the injured victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. He will certainly be in my prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, in San Diego County, there were reportedly seven bicycle accident related fatalities and 800 bicycle accident injuries in 2006. In the city of San Diego, there were reportedly three fatalities and 390 injuries relating to bicycle accidents. Mira Mesa is a large suburb, which is part of the city of San Diego.
In this case, if this newspaper report and official accounts are accurate, there seems to be little doubt that the motorist was at fault. The bicyclist was apparently in a clearly marked bicycle lane. But it was the motorist who “drifted into” the bicycle land and struck him from behind. It is also a serious offense under California law to leave the scene of an accident. Under California Vehicle Code 20001, a motorist is required to remain at the scene of the accident – whether or not it is his or her fault. Although alcohol was not involved here, the motorist may have been distracted or simply careless or reckless when she hit the bicyclist.
There is also no question that this motorist should be held financially responsible for the severe injuries caused to the bicyclist. The injured victim would be well-advised to consult an experienced Southern California bicycle accident attorney, who will make sure that the victim receives compensation to help pay for past and future medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering.