October 22, 2012-Hemet, CA-A teenager who struck eight individuals with his truck on May 20 outside a high school will not be charged with any crimes, according to the Hemet Police and ABC News.
Investigators claim that the youth was slowing down as he approached the crosswalk and that his brakes failed, resulting in the accident. Because of this, prosecutors have made the decision not to file criminal charges. However, he may be cited for mechanical failure. Prosecutors have not stated when any such charges may be forthcoming.
One of the victims suffered permanent brain damage, while the other seven received minor injuries.
My sincere wishes for health and happiness go out to all the victims of this tragic accident, and my sympathies to the victim and family who suffered the serious injury.
Mechanical Failure Can Lead To Serious Accidents
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that only about 10 percent of accidents are due to mechanical failure, including tire blowouts, failed brakes, and other problems, these accidents can still cause injury and death. A tire blowout can lead to a rollover, one of the most deadly types of accidents, while failed brakes can lead to a situation such as the one in this story, in which drivers cannot stop in time to avoid collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, or other motorists.
Should This Driver Be Charged?
The decision not to charge the young man with criminal negligence may meet with resistance in some quarters. It is possible for police to charge a driver with criminal negligence if they can show that the driver deliberately ignored safety warnings or other signs that the car was not functioning properly and an accident results. However, the police evidently felt in this case that there was not sufficient evidence to prove the young man knew that his brakes were failing prior to the accident.
What Are the Liability Issues?
Of course, this will not prevent the victims from filing a lawsuit for damages. Whether the young man knew about his brakes or not, he was responsible for maintaining his vehicle. However, if the young man can show that a mechanic or someone else worked on the brakes and repaired them improperly, that person might have liability for the accident, as well. It will be up to California auto pedestrian accident attorney to determine the true liability in this case and how the victims can go about collecting damages for their injuries.