James Tedrow Gauntt, 24, of Los Angeles was killed in a San Diego pedestrian accident on the Del Dios Highway in Rancho Santa Fe after he was struck by two cars, one of them a hit-and-run vehicle, according to a news report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The accident reportedly occurred when Gauntt was walking after spending a night out with friends. He was hit by a 23-year-old San Marcos man driving a Honda Civic westbound on the highway near Calle Ambiente, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
The driver told officials that he swerved to avoid striking Gauntt, but couldn’t stop in time. The car rolled over, but the driver was uninjured. CHP officials say based on physical evidence that two other vehicles drove by shortly after the pedestrian accident, one striking Gauntt and the other hitting the overturned Civic. Neither one of those vehicles stopped to help Gauntt or the driver of the Civic, officials said.
If you have information about the two hit-and-run drivers, please call the Oceanside CHP at 760-757-1675.
I offer my condolences to the victim’s family. If I were a member of Gauntt’s family, I’d want to know what really happened out there on the highway because I am not buying the story in the Union-Tribune. I am not convinced by the news report that the Honda Civic didn’t have ample time to avoid hitting Gauntt. Something smells here.
On the other hand, if Gauntt was still alive after the Civic struck him and was killed by the second hit-and-run vehicle, then that driver could also be criminally and civilly responsible for Gauntt’s death. The other hit-and-run driver could be held responsible, had the driver of the Civic suffered injuries as a result of the San Diego auto accident.
There are many unanswered questions at this point. Gauntt’s family would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced California pedestrian accident and auto accident attorney, who will help them find the answers and help protect their rights by finding out exactly what happened and who is responsible for James’ death. I hope police apprehend the hit-and-run drivers and bring them to justice as well.