Gary De La Rosa, 40, was fatally injured in a Costa Mesa car accident after he was hit by a vehicle while crossing the roadway. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian crash occurred near the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Bay Street, early morning on November 11, 2011. Costa Mesa police say De La Rosa was walking and pushing an empty wheelchair on Harbor Boulevard south of Bay Street, when a southbound Jaguar struck him. De La Rosa died at the scene. Officials have not cited or arrested the driver pending an official investigation. Anyone who witnessed the fatal crash is asked to contact Costa Mesa police at 714-754-5264.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Gary De La Rosa for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 57 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Costa Mesa. In Orange County as a whole, 41 people died and 864 were injured due to pedestrian accidents, during the same year.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news report, the pedestrian, De La Rosa, was pushing a wheelchair across the street when the collision occurred. It is not yet known if the victim was in a crosswalk. California law required motorists to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, the law also requires pedestrians to walk only in designated areas.
California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” The same section also states: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she could be held liable for De La Rosa’s wrongful death. I trust officials are looking into whether speed, alcohol, distracted driving, or some other form of negligence played a part in this collision. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of companionship, and other related damages. An experienced Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise victims’ families in such cases about their legal rights and options.