Kushan Bhandari, a 5-year-old boy was killed and his mother and brother were seriously injured in a San Bernardino car accident when the family was hit crossing a street in Big Bear Lake. According to an Associated Press news report, Sujana Bhandari, the mother, and her two sons–Kushan and 11-year-old Kushal–were crossing Big Bear Boulevard at an intersection the night of July 30, 2009, when they were struck by a sport utility vehicle. The 5-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene. The other boy and the mother were airlifted to an area hospital with injuries. Witnesses have described the suspect vehicle as a dark-colored SUV, possibly a dark green Chevy Tahoe.
My heart goes out to the Bhandari family for their tragic, heartbreaking and untimely loss. I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of little Kushan Bhandari, especially to the mother and the older brother who witnessed the pedestrian accident and were themselves badly injured. I wish them both the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.
California Hit-and-Run Laws
I sincerely hope and pray that the hit-and-run driver in this case is apprehended and brought to justice. There is simply no excuse for striking a child, or any person for that matter, and leaving the scene without even stopping to help them. Leaving the scene of a car accident is a serious crime in California. According to California Vehicle Code section 20001(a): “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
In this case, if the newspaper account is accurate, the family was crossing the street at an intersection. California law also states that motorists should yield right-of-way to pedestrians who are walking in a crosswalk or an intersection. 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.”
California Personal Injury Lawyers
The Bhandari family would be well advised to consult with an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will analyze all the facts of this case and make sure this family receives fair compensation for their injuries, damages and in this case, their tremendous loss of young Kushan. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim, which compensates them for medical/funeral expenses, loss of earnings (where applicable) and other damages.
A skilled California car accident attorney will also be able to help the family seek compensation through the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of their car insurance policy, in the event the hit-and-run driver is not insured or has inadequate coverage.