Brian Beato, 15, was killed in a Long Beach car accident when a car hit him as he crossed the street, the night of June 1, 2012. According to The Press-Telegram, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred on Spring Street near Stevely Avenue in Long Beach. Officials say Beato was walking with another youth when a westbound Honda Civic struck him. He succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter at a nearby medical center. At this time, officials have not cited the female driver of the Honda and they are waiting to discuss the crash with the other youth who was a witness.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Brian Beato following this tragic car accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), nine people were killed and 211 were injured in Long Beach pedestrian accidents. During that same year, Los Angeles County pedestrian accidents claimed 179 lives and injured 4,918 people.
What Caused This Fatal Collision?
Based on this news report, it is not clear if the victim was in a crosswalk at the time of the crash. 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.” It 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 in this case is determined to have been at fault, then, she can be held liable for the teenager’s wrongful death. In such cases, family members may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and other damages. A knowledgeable Long Beach personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to this fatal accident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.