Carmen Arugay, 65, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident when a car struck her as she crossed the street. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Church Street and Terra Vista Parkway in Rancho Cucamonga, the morning of October 10, 2011. Arugay was walking in a crosswalk when a Ford F-150 pickup hit her. Arugay was transported to a nearby hospital where she died from her injuries. It is not clear if the driver will be cited for this fatal collision. An investigation is ongoing.
My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Carmen Arugay following this tragic pedestrian accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person was killed and 22 were injured in Rancho Cucamonga pedestrian accidents. During that same year, there were 39 fatalities and 440 injuries reported due to San Bernardino County pedestrian accidents.
It is not clear what caused the pickup to strike the pedestrian. 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.” I trust officials are also looking into whether the driver was under the influence, distracted, speeding or otherwise negligent.
Fault and Liability
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she could be held liable for Arugay’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased car accident victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of love and companionship. Families of victims in such cases would be well-advised to contact an experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.