Police say that a physically disabled woman, who has been accused of causing a pedestrian accident in Redondo Beach that killed four and injured several others, was under the influence of prescription drugs.
According to a news report in the Daily Breeze, the pedestrians were crossing Pacific Coast Highway at Vincent Street the night of December 17, 2014 when they were struck by
a northbound vehicle that ran a red light.
The three pedestrians who were killed have been identified as Mary Ann Wilson, 81, Saeko Matsumura, 87, and Martha Gaza, 36, all Torrance residents. Gaza’s husband and children were also injured in the crash.
A fourth victim, a 6-year-old boy, has also died from his injuries. He has not yet been identified.
The driver, identified as 56-year-old Margo Bronstein, was arrested on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Police also said Bronstein was confined to an electric wheelchair.
Officials are awaiting toxicology reports to determine if there were intoxicants involved.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members of the deceased victims. We also pray for the speedy recovery of all those who were injured. Among the injured are five children.
The group was heading back after a Christmas program at St. James Catholic Church when the crash occurred.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2012 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one fatality and 29 injuries were reported in Redondo Beach as a result of DUI collisions.
During the same year, in Los Angeles County, 213 people died and 4,261 were injured as a result of DUI crashes. In Redondo Beach, one fatality and 30 injuries were reported due to pedestrian collisions.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, the driver blew through a red light and struck the large group of pedestrians who were legally crossing in a marked crosswalk. Officials also suspect that she was under the influence.
If all these details are accurate, the woman violated several laws by driving under the influence of prescription drugs, running a red light and failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk.
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, drivers could also be held civilly liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering.
Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation as well.
As a personal injury law firm that has represented Los Angeles victims of DUI and pedestrian crashes, we understand what victims and families that have lost loved ones must be going through now.
We hope all those who have been affected in this horrible tragedy have access to resources to get the support they need during this very difficult time.