Augustine Choi, 97, was critically injured in a Garden Grove car accident after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing the road, the afternoon of January 21, 2012. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Choi was walking in a marked crosswalk near the intersection of Brookhurst Street and Stanford Avenue when he was hit by a car. The driver and other passersby stopped to help the elderly victim. Choi was transported to an area trauma center and is said to be in critical condition. An investigation is ongoing.
My thoughts and prayers are with Augustine Choi who has apparently suffered life-threatening injuries in this pedestrian accident. I pray that he makes it through these major injuries and goes on to make a complete recovery.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), four fatalities and 45 injuries occurred involving pedestrian accidents in Garden Grove. In Orange County as a whole, 41 people died and 864 were injured due to pedestrian accidents, during the same year.
Based on this news report, the pedestrian, Choi, was walking in a marked crosswalk when the vehicle struck him. It is not clear why the motorist did not stop for Choi. California law required drivers to stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians walking in marked or 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.”
Fault and Liability
I trust officials are looking into whether the driver in this case was inattentive, distracted, intoxicated, speeding or otherwise negligent at the time. If it is determined that the driver was at fault, then, he or she could be held liable for Choi’s serious injuries. In such cases, injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Garden Grove personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held responsible.