Jessica Rangel, 21, was killed in a Fullerton car accident after a pickup truck struck her as she was crossing the street. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian collision occurred the night of June 14, 2016 at the intersection of Valencia Drive and Lemon Street. Rangel, who was struck by a red Toyota Tacoma was transported to an area trauma center with critical injuries.
She succumbed to her injuries. The Tacoma’s driver, a 39-year-old man, remained at the scene and cooperated with officials. Police say they don’t believe alcohol or drugs played a part in the incident. They are also looking into whether the woman was in the crosswalk at the time of the collision. The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Jessica Rangel for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one fatality and 82 injuries were reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in the city of Fullerton. In Orange County as a whole, 52 people died and 784 were injured due to pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the pedestrian, Rangel, was crossing at the intersection of Valencia Drive and Lemon Street where there are clearly marked crosswalks. Officials say they are still looking into whether Rangel was walking inside a crosswalk with the right of way when the crash occurred. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a), motorists are required to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks.
If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault or negligent, he can be held liable for Rangel’s wrongful death. By filing a wrongful death claim, family members of deceased victims can seek compensation for damages including medical and funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship and pain and suffering. In such cases victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County car accident attorney who has successfully handled wrongful death cases and has had a track record of holding at-fault parties accountable.