Stanley Isaacs, 60, was killed in a Laguna Beach pedestrian accident on Aug. 11 after an 18-year-old driver struck Isaacs and his wife in a lighted crosswalk on South Coast Highway.
According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the Costa Mesa couple was in the crosswalk at Pearl Street and Coast Highway after celebrating their wedding anniversary at a nearby restaurant when the accident happened.
Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash in Laguna Beach Crosswalk
As they crossed the highway, they were struck by a light-colored sedan that was southbound. When officers arrived they found Isaacs with life-threatening injuries. His wife’s injuries were described as “moderate.” The driver fled and the police said the car likely had front-end damage. The couple was transported to an area hospital where Isaacs succumbed to his injuries. His wife was treated and released.
The driver, identified as 18-year-old Sysillia Morrison Montes De Oca, turned herself in and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony hit and run. Police believe speed was a contributing factor. The speed limit in that stretch of the highway is 35 mph.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Stanley Isaacs for their terrible loss. It is truly heartbreaking that the couple was returning from celebrating their anniversary when they were struck. We will hold this family in our thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, the teen driver was reportedly speeding and failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrians who were walking in a marked, lighted crosswalk. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a), motorists are required to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians who are walking in marked and unmarked crosswalks. It is also against the law for motorists to leave the scene of a fatal or injury collision.
In such cases, it is important that injured victims and/or families of deceased victims seek the counsel of an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and help ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. In this type of case, negligent or at-fault drivers can be held financially liable in addition to facing criminal charges and penalties.
In some cases, if the incident was caused by a dangerous or defectively designed roadway, the city or governmental agency responsible for designing or maintaining that roadway can also be held liable. However, such claims against governmental agencies must be filed within 180 days of the incident.