Three people, including Aliso Viejo’s police chief, were injured in a car accident in the area the morning of Feb. 28. According to a news report on Patch.com, the city’s chief of police services, Lt. John MacPherson, suffered serious injuries just before he was about to retire from his job. The incident occurred at the intersection of Alicia Parkway and Pacific Park Drive and involved five vehicles. It was triggered by a driver who ran the red light, officials said. The severity of the other injuries was not known. California Highway Patrol officials are investigating the incident. It is not known if the driver who caused the accident has been cited or arrested.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured police chief and the other victims. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
The Problem of Red Light Running
According to the Federal Highway Administration, in 2014, 710 people died in the United States as a result of someone else running the red light. Of these fatalities, 44 were pedestrians or bicyclists. Red light running is a violation of the law. California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
Fault and Liability Issues
A driver who runs a red light and triggers a crash could face citations or even criminal charges depending on the nature and extent of injuries, or if there were fatalities. In addition, the at-fault driver could also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims in such cases may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical costs, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatment and therapy, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering.
In such cases, an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will be able to stay abreast of the official investigation and help ensure that the victims’ legal rights and best interests are protected. If you have been injured in a multi-vehicle crash, it is important that you remain at the scene, file a police report, secure as much evidence as possible from the scene, get prompt medical attention and contact an experienced injury attorney who can help protect your rights every step of the way.