A 4-year-old boy suffered fatal injuries in a pedestrian accident in Irvine Saturday night. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Zhiyu Too was crossing the intersection at Lake Forest drive and Romano on his scooter when he was hit by a vehicle that was traveling on Lake Forest. The boy was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. The boy’s parents were with him when he was struck. Additional details about the vehicle or the driver were not available. The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of this little boy for their heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were four fatalities and 33 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in Irvine. In Orange County as a whole, 52 people died and 784 were injured as a result of pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Right of Way Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the child was with his parents crossing at a street intersection that has crosswalks and is monitored by traffic lights. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a) motorists are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks.
The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Fault and Liability
We trust officials are looking into a number of issues including whether the driver was impaired, distracted or failed to yield the right of way. In such cases, the at-fault driver could be held liable for the losses caused. If a dangerous condition on the roadway or intersection caused or contributed to the fatal accident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Any such claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the incident under California Government Code Section 911.2. An experienced Irvine car accident attorney will be able to advise victims or their families regarding their legal rights and options.