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Students Seriously Injured in Los Angeles Car Accident

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Two 14-year-old female students were severely injured in a Covina car accident after they were hit by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk. According to a news report in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the injury crash occurred the morning of November 7, 2011 at the intersection of Lark Ellen Avenue and Tudor Street.

California Highway Patrol officials say the girls, both possibly students at Gladstone High School, were walking in a crosswalk at the intersection when they were struck by a woman in her 30s, who was driving a Honda Civic south on Lark Ellen Avenue. The two girls suffered major head injuries and blunt force trauma to other parts of their bodies. They were airlifted to a regional hospital in serious condition. It is unclear at this time if the driver will be charged or cited. An investigation is ongoing.

My heart goes out to the two victims who have been seriously injured in this crash. I truly hope their injuries are not catastrophic or life-threatening. I wish them both the very best for a quick and full recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to CHP’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 15 injuries reported due to pedestrian accidents in Covina. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 179 people died and 4,918 were injured in pedestrian accidents, during the same year.

Pedestrians’ Right-of-Way

Based on this news report, the two girls were crossing legally in a marked crosswalk. However, it is unclear as to why the driver of the Honda failed to yield the right of way. Under California law, motorists are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks.

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.”

Fault and Liability

If the driver is determined to have been at fault, she could be held liable for injuries and damages caused to the victims. Injured victims and their families can seek compensation from the at-fault party for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In such cases, victims or their families would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.

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