Gregory Willis, 46, of Hemet was killed in a Bloomington pedestrian versus big rig accident on March 5, 2009, according to the Inland Empire & Inland Valley Breaking News Web site. Willis was apparently using a crosswalk in the 18000 block of Slover Avenue to the trucking company that he worked for when a big rig driver started the truck, made a right turn and hit Willis. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital where he was taken after the accident. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CAL/OSHA) is investigating the incident.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Gregory Willis for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everybody who knew and loved Willis. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2006 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were a total of 316 traffic accident fatalities and 10,514 injuries related to auto accidents in Riverside County. There were 48 deaths and 436 injuries reported in 2006 in Riverside County involving pedestrian accidents.
If this newspaper report is accurate, this pedestrian versus big rig accidents appears to have been the big rig driver’s fault. Willis was using the marked crosswalk when he’d walked across the street to his trucking company. But the big rig driver apparently did not see Willis crossing the street and struck him. If traffic investigators determine that the big rig driver was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, then he could be held criminally responsible and both he and his employer could be held civilly responsible. Based on the fact that CAL/OSHA is involved, it seems to me that Willis was struck and killed by one of the big rigs belonging to his employer, the trucking company.
Gregory Willis’ family would be well-advised to consult with an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney, who will help them not only deal with workers compensation issues, but also determine all the facts of this case, identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable. It is very important that the family act quickly and get a skilled personal injury lawyer on their side. I’d bet Willis’ employer, the trucking company, already has their attorneys and insurance carrier all over this case. Willis’ family needs a reputed personal injury law firm on their side fighting for and protecting their rights and interests.