Delia Huerta Arrearan, a 57-year-old crossing guard who has worked for the city’s Department of Transportation since, 2006, was struck and killed in a pedestrian accident that also left a 16-year-old girl injured in the San Fernando Valley’s Glen neighborhood. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred the morning of Sept. 16 when a car heading east on Vanowen Street hit the crossing guard and the 16-year-old student who were crossing the street near Sunnyslope Avenue.
Major Injury Collision
Both were transported to an area trauma center. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Police say the crash appeared to be an accident and that the driver may not have been able to see the pedestrians because the sun was in his eyes. The intersection is located near the Amherst Jr-Sr High School and Kittridge Street Elementary School. The Los Angeles Fire Department had previously said both victims were expected to survive. However, Arrearan succumbed to her injuries. The condition of the teenager is not known.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members, friends and the members of the community served by Delia Huerta Arrearan for more than a decade. We also wish the injured teen the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver said he could not see the pedestrians in the crosswalk because of the sun in his eyes. There are still a number of other questions here, which we hope officials are asking at this time including whether the driver of the vehicle was speeding, distracted or careless at the time of the collision. Motorists have a responsibility to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks.
California Vehicle Code section 21950 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 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.”
In cases where driver negligence is involved, injured pedestrians can seek compensation from the at-fault driver for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to help injured victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.