Richard A. Gomez, 32, of Escondido died the night of May 2, 2009, shortly after he suffered critical personal injuries in a San Diego pedestrian accident, the North County Times reports. Gomez was apparently crossing the street and in the westbound lane of East Valley Parkway near Rose Street, when he was struck by a Dodge Ram 350 van. The van’s driver stopped and waited for police to arrive. Gomez was taken to a local hospital where he died. No charges have been filed against the driver pending an investigation.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of Richard Gomez. My heart goes out to everybody who knew and loved this man. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were nine pedestrian accident fatalities and 63 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Escondido. In San Diego County as a whole, there were 51 deaths and 1,068 personal injuries involving pedestrian accidents in 2007.
In this case, the newspaper report does not provide enough information about how or why this fatal pedestrian accident occurred. It is not clear whether Gomez was walking across the street in a marked or unmarked crosswalk or at a street intersection. California Vehicle Code section 21950 states that a motorist is required to yield right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing at an intersection — be it a marked or unmarked crosswalk or a street intersection.
If Gomez was struck while in a crosswalk, then the driver of the Dodge could be held liable for his fatal personal injuries. If I were handling this fatal car collision case, I would also look at other factors such as whether the driver was in a position to stop in time to avoid the car accident. Was he or she going too fast, distracted or impaired. I trust these are issues traffic investigators are looking into.
Gomez’s family would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced California pedestrian accident attorney who will determine who or what caused this tragic car-bike crash. A skilled California personal injury attorney should check if a dangerous condition at the roadway or intersection caused or contributed to this fatal pedestrian accident. If that was the case, the city of Escondido or the governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable. Please remember that any claim against a California governmental agency must be properly filed within six months of the bicycle-car accident.