The pregnant woman, who was killed in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident in Cathedral City the night of February 11, 2009, has been identified as 18-year-old Danica Denton of Desert Hot Springs. According to this news report in The Desert Sun, Denton’s fetus was also killed in the auto accident. Denton was walking across westbound East Palm Canyon Drive at the intersection of Van Fleet in Cathedral City when she was struck by a vehicle driven by Gina Garcia of Palm Springs. Garcia was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young woman who also lost her baby as a result of the fatal injuries she suffered in this accident. I offer my deepest condolences to them. They will be in my prayers.
I trust that Garcia, who fled the scene in this fatal California hit and run pedestrian accident, will now be brought to justice and held accountable for her actions. To strike this pregnant woman and to leave her lying on the street is unacceptable, even if it was done in a moment of panic. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense under California law.
According to this news report, it appears that Danica Denton was crossing the street at an intersection. California Vehicle Code section 21950(a) states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The code 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 the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
The family of Danica Denton would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced California pedestrian accident attorney who will fight on their side to protect their legal rights. Garcia should be held criminally and civilly liable for Denton’s fatal injuries. In cases where there is negligence or wrongdoing involved, family members of deceased auto accident victims may be able to file wrongful death claims, which usually compensates victims’ families to cover medical/funeral expenses, loss of wages and other related costs.