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Marin County Pedestrian Accident Leaves One Dead


William Leo Halstenson, 51, of Kentfield, California, died September 29, 2008 in a pedestrian versus auto accident after he was struck down in a crosswalk. According to an article in the Marin Independent Journal, the 9/29/08 pedestrian accident occurred as Halstenson was crossing Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at Ash Avenue near College Avenue.

Halstenson was hit by an eastbound Chevrolet Impala driven by 18-year-old Michael McGhee of Pinole. Halstenson was pronounced dead at the scene. California Highway Patrol officials said Halstenson was walking in the crosswalk and hit because McGhee failed to yield the right of way. Officials determined that McGhee was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of William Leo Halstenson for their irreparable loss.

In 2006, there were two pedestrian fatalities and 85 pedestrian accidents involved injuries in Marin County, according to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System.

In this case officials have determined that McGhee, the driver of the Chevy Impala, was at fault for not yielding to a pedestrian crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield 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: “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 the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”

I’d urge Halstenson’s family to seek the expert counsel of a knowledgeable California pedestrian accident attorney. A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate this incident, protect their legal rights and secure them the compensation they rightfully deserve. Where there is wrongdoing or negligence involved, families of deceased victims are entitled to wrongful death claims. Such claims compensate victims’ families for the loss of a family member who has been killed because of someone else’s negligence.

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