Leslie Cushing, 77, was killed in a Huntington Beach car accident after a vehicle hit him as he crossed a busy thoroughfare. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred the evening of February 27, 2012 near the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Indianapolis Avenue. Police say Cushing was crossing Beach Boulevard in front of a McDonald’s restaurant, north of Indianapolis Avenue, at the time. Officials also say there is no crosswalk in that portion of the roadway, and that it was dark and raining. The driver remained at the scene. No arrests have been made pending an official investigation.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Leslie Cushing 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 three fatalities and 58 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Huntington Beach. 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, it appears that Cushing was walking at a section of the roadway where there was no crosswalk and the visibility might have been affected because of the darkness and the rain. California law requires motorists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are walking in marked and unmarked crosswalks.
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.”
Fault and Liability
In this particular case, I trust officials are looking into whether the driver of the vehicle was speeding, distracted, inattentive, or otherwise negligent at the time. If that was the case, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. An experienced Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether a dangerous condition on the roadway such as the absence of crosswalks or adequate lighting may have caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city can be held liable as well. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to victims or their families.