A man was struck and killed in a pedestrian accident in Costa Mesa early morning on Jan. 2, 2018. According to a City News Service report, the fatal collision was reported about midnight on Newport Boulevard between 17th and 18th streets. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said he was crossing the street outside the crosswalk when he was struck. The driver of the vehicle and witnesses remained at the scene and were helping police with the investigation. Alcohol or drugs weren’t believed to be factors in this crash.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of this deceased pedestrian. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
There were no fatalities, but 23 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in Costa Mesa in 2014, according to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Orange County as a whole, 47 people were killed and 764 were injured due to pedestrian collisions during the same year. Also, countywide, 165 deaths and 13,736 were injured as a result of traffic accidents in 2014.
Based on this news report, officials believe the pedestrian was walking outside the crosswalk when he was struck and fatally injured.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
California law requires motorists to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians who are walking in marked and unmarked crosswalks. California Vehicle Code Section 21954 (a) requires pedestrians to walk within marked or unmarked crosswalks and yield the right of way to oncoming vehicles. However, the provisions of that section also state that the driver of a vehicle has the duty to exercise due care “for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
What this essentially means is that while pedestrians must exercise caution while they cross the street by walking in crosswalks, drivers have a duty of care to pedestrians and must ensure that they are driving at an appropriate speed and yielding to pedestrians so they can safely cross the street.
In this particular case, if the driver is determined to have been speeding, distracted or otherwise negligent at the time, he or she could be held liable for the pedestrian’s wrongful death. If a dangerous roadway or intersection caused or contributed to the incident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Families of victims in such cases would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.