A 5-year-old girl suffered serious injuries in a La Quinta pedestrian accident after a driver who rolled past a stop sign struck her, according to a news report in The Desert Sun. The girl had apparently gotten off a bus and was walking behind a group of children the afternoon of February 19, 2009. She was walking eastbound on Miles Avenue when a 43-year-old woman driving a Hummer rolled past a stop sign on Seeley Avenue and hit the girl.
Police say the woman told them that she simply did not see the girl walking on the street. Officials also say there is no indication that the woman was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. She was not speeding either, they say.
I’m extremely relieved that this girl did not suffer any catastrophic or fatal injuries as a result of this pedestrian accident. Please keep this little girl and her family in your prayers. I hope and pray that she will have a quick and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s statistics, there were two fatalities and four injuries relating to Riverside County pedestrian accidents in La Quinta in 2006. During the same period, in Riverside County as a whole, 48 deaths and 436 injuries were attributed to pedestrian accidents.
In this case, if the news report is accurate, it appears to me that the woman who was driving the Hummer simply did not pay attention to her surroundings. She was driving a large vehicle and did not see the girl walking on the street in front of her. And she failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. California Vehicle Code section 22450 (a) states: “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop at the limit line, if marked, otherwise before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.”
I would suggest that the young girl’s parents or family members contact an experienced California pedestrian accident attorney who will determine the facts of this case and hold the negligent parties responsible for their actions. If the woman was not able to see the girl because of a dangerous condition on the roadway, then a skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway can be held liable for the accident and resulting injuries. In such cases, California law requires that the claim against the governmental agency be properly filed within six months of the accident.