Steven Kroff, 75, was killed in a car accident after his vehicle crashed into a large truck at an intersection in Gilroy. According to a news report in the Gilroy Dispatch, Kroff was driving his Sebring convertible south on No Name Uno. California Highway Patrol officials said he stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Buena Vista and then pulled into the intersection in front of an oncoming Chevy Silverado pickup truck driven by a 40-year-old woman. The woman did not have a stop sign. Kroff died at the scene. Officials believe he may have been on his cell phone at the time of the collision based on the time of his last call. The driver of the truck was not seriously injured.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Steven Kroff for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Based on this news report, neighbors who live in the area say the intersection where the accident occurred is an extremely hazardous one and that car accidents occur every month at that intersection. One neighbor says that the intersection definitely needs a four-way stop. Neighbors say it is difficult for eastbound drivers on Buena Vista to see the intersection and the line marking where drivers on No Name Uno should stop. The stop sign is apparently too far back and should be moved at least six feet, a neighbor says. Just last month, 96-year-old Joan Patrick was killed when an ambulance in which she was being transported crashed into a pickup truck at the same location.
Liability Issues and Governmental Agencies
If the neighbors’ statements are accurate, it seems to me that there might be a dangerous condition at this intersection. Under the provisions of California’s Government Code Section 835, a public entity or government agency is liable for personal injury or death because of a condition of public property when the affected party proves that:
- There was a dangerous condition on the public property at the time of the injury or death.
- The injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition
- The dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury of the kind that occurred and
Government Code Section 835.4 also states that a public entity may absolve itself from liability for creating or failing to remedy a dangerous roadway condition by showing that it would have been too expensive, impractical or unreasonable for the agency to have done anything else but what it did or did not do. In addition, Governmental Code Section 830.4 states that a dangerous condition cannot be the absence of traffic control or warning signs alone.
In such cases, victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all facets of this case and make sure that the negligent parties are held accountable. In any case involving personal injury or wrongful death claims against government entities, it is important to remember that the claims must be filed within 180 days of the accident or injury, under California Government Code 911.2.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.