Crystal Smith, a 16-year-old girl, was killed in a San Bernardino County pedestrian accident after she was struck by a motorist while crossing Highway 395 early morning June 13, 2009, the San Bernardino Sun reports. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials, who are investigating the fatal car versus pedestrian accident, say the driver of a Chevy Cavalier, a 28-year-old woman, did not see Crystal crossing the Adelanto street because of a tractor-trailer that was driving north in the lane next to her.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Crystal Smith for their tragic and untimely loss. My heart especially goes out to the girl’s parents. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were no fatalities and one personal injury involving pedestrian accidents in Adelanto. It would seem pedestrian accidents are not all that common in Adelanto. However, in San Bernardino County as a whole, it’s a different story. In 2007, 50 fatalities and 432 personal injuries were reported in San Bernardino County as a result of pedestrian accidents.
California Vehicle Code Section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
It is important to rule out the possibility of negligence on the part of the driver who struck Crystal. Although initial police reports say the driver had the green light, experienced California pedestrian accident attorneys will be able analyze the facts of this case and determine who or what caused this tragic personal injury accident. I trust traffic investigators are also looking into whether the driver was impaired or distracted at the time of the car crash. The big rig, that was reportedly obstructing the driver’s view of the girl, may have been one factor.
However, it is important to rule out negligence on the part of the motorist in this case. Skilled personal injury attorneys will also be able to determine whether there was a dangerous condition at that intersection. If that was the case, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could be held liable. In California, the law states that any claim against a governmental agency must be properly filed within 180 days of the car accident or injury.