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Long Beach Car Accident Kills Man in Wheelchair

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A man in a motorized wheelchair died in a fatal Long Beach car accident after he was struck by a sport utility vehicle while crossing a street in Bellflower the night of May 19, 2009, the Press Telegram reports. The Long Beach car accident occurred when the victim, who has not yet been identified, was crossing Artesia Boulevard near Coke Avenue. The man was thrown from his wheelchair and declared dead at an area hospital. Officials also said that the man on the wheelchair seemed to have rolled out into the street between two parked cars, which may have been the reason why the female driver of the SUV did not see him. The initial report apparently rules the incident “a simple accident.”

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the man who was killed so suddenly and tragically. My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved him. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were 15 deaths and 274 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Long Beach. In Los Angeles County as a whole, in 2007, 210 deaths and 5,095 injuries were reported involving pedestrian accidents.

In this case, it is still not clear how this fatal wheelchair versus car accident occurred. Officials say he rolled out between two parked cars. But there are still several questions here. Were there any witnesses who saw the car collision? How fast was the driver of the SUV going at the time of the car crash? Did she have sufficient time to stop before striking the victim? Were there any dangerous conditions on the roadway that caused or contributed to this accident?

The family of this deceased victim would be well advised to consult with experienced California personal injury attorneys who will carefully examine official investigation reports, interview eyewitnesses and determine who or what caused this fatal car accident. If there was a dangerous condition on the roadway the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable. A personal injury claim against any California governmental agency must be properly filed within six months of an accident.

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