Jorge Altisent, 78, was killed in an Irvine car accident after being struck by a car near University High School. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Campus Drive and Paseo Montoya. Witnesses said Altisent ran across the roadway as he tried to cross Campus and was struck by a vehicle. The impact threw him several feet away. Altisent was transported to an area trauma center where he died from his injuries. The driver remained at the scene and no citations or arrests were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends of Jorge Altisent. I offer my deepest condolences to everybody who knew and loved him.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 22 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in Irvine. In Orange County as a whole, 32 people were killed and 770 were injured due to pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it is not clear if the pedestrian was in a crosswalk or if he ran across traffic lanes. California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” The same section also states: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
I trust officials are also looking into whether the motorist was distracted, inattentive, impaired or otherwise negligent at the time of the collision. If the motorist is determined to have been at fault, then, he or she could be held liable for Altisent’s wrongful death. If a dangerous or defective roadway caused this accident, then, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable.
Any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident, according to California Government Code Section 911.2. An experienced Irvine personal injury lawyer will be able to advise families of deceased victims in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.