Annamaria Victoria Loza, 31, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident when she was hit by a sheriff’s patrol car, the night of March 19, 2012. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, the fatal accident occurred in the westbound lanes of Twentynine Palms Highway near Valley View Street in Joshua Tree. Officials say the woman was running across the highway when the patrol car struck her. She succumbed to her injuries half an hour later at a nearby medical center. It is unclear why the deputy was unable to avoid the collision or if Loza was legally crossing the roadway. An investigation is ongoing.
My deepest condolences go out to the family members and friends of Annamaria Victoria Loza following this tragic car accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
San Bernardino Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), eight people were killed and 48 were injured as a result of pedestrian accidents in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. During that same year, pedestrian accidents caused 39 fatalities and injured 440 people, countywide.
What Caused This Fatal Collision?
Based on this news report, the victim was running across a busy highway. It is not clear, however, if she was in a crosswalk or crossing the roadway legally. 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.”
The family of a deceased pedestrian accident victim 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. In this particular case, if it is determined that the driver, the sheriff’s deputy, was negligent, then, the motorist as well as his or her employer can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. Under California Vehicle Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental entity must be properly filed within 180 days of the incident.