Victoria Santos, 60, who died in a pedestrian versus truck accident near the Cal State Northridge campus, is one of many victims who have been killed in similar accidents on the dangerous roadways and intersection around the university’s campus. According to a news article in the Los Angeles Daily News, Victoria Santos was trying to cross Zelzah Avenue at Lassen Street early morning on March 9, 2009 when she was struck by a pickup truck driver who was traveling east on Lassen and had turned right on Zelzah.
My heart goes out to the family of Victoria Santos for their tragic loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Santos. Please keep them in your prayers.
In the last six months, seven pedestrians have been hit by vehicles on streets near the Cal State Northridge Campus, killing two, leaving two others with life-threatening injuries and three others with serious injuries. According to the Daily News, in 2007, the area had 88 pedestrian accidents – a 21 percent jump from 2005. Local residents and neighborhood councils have apparently made attempts to educate pedestrians and motorists in the area about pedestrian safety. Residents are looking at how feasible it would be for the city to install crosswalks with flashing lights. In addition to Victoria Santos, the following pedestrians were stuck by vehicles near Cal State Northridge:
- Olivia Almalel, 33, suffered severe spinal cord injuries in a December 25, 2008 accident at Reseda Boulevard and Devonshire Street
- Three men in their 20s suffered serious injuries on December 12, 2008 at the intersection of Louise Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard
- Yao Lu, a 22-year-old CSUN student from China was in a coma for eight days and suffered internal bleeding after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on November 3, 2008 at the intersection of Reseda and Superior Street
- Johoney Lobos, a 19-year-old student died in a September 23, 2008 hit and run accident as she crossed Lindley Avenue near Devonshire Street.
Northridge apparently falls under the City of Los Angeles’ jurisdiction. The question here is: Why is the City of Los Angeles not doing anything about these dangerous roadways and intersections around Cal State Northridge despite an overwhelming number of catastrophic injuries and deaths relating to pedestrian versus vehicle collisions.
The family of Victoria Santos and other victims should be talking to a reputed Southern California personal injury law firm that has pursued governmental agencies in dangerous roadway and intersection cases. Under the provisions of California’s Government Code, Section 835, a public entity is liable for injuries caused by a condition of public property when the injured person proves that there was a dangerous condition on the public property at the time of injury and that the injury was caused by that dangerous condition. The injured victim also needs to prove that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury of the kind that occurred.
A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether Victoria Santos’ death and other injuries were caused because of a dangerous roadway or intersection that the City of Los Angeles could have fixed at a reasonable time and cost. My firm would be happy to provide free, comprehensive consultations to Santos’ family as well as other victims and their families who have been affected by such dangerous roadway accidents. Please remember that a claim against a governmental agency in California must be filed within six months of the accident