The Orange County Coroner identified a man who was killed in a Garden Grove pedestrian accident as 30-year-old William Mendoza of Anaheim. According to an article in The Orange County Register, the fatal car accident occurred the morning of May 1, 2009 when Mendoza was struck and severely injured by a vehicle near the intersection of Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. Mendoza was hit by a sport utility vehicle that was going east on Chapman, Garden Grove police officials said. Mendoza was taken to UCI Medical Center where he later died.
The driver of the SUV, who has not been identified, remained at the scene and talked to police. He was not cited or arrested pending an investigation. Police are not yet sure whether Mendoza was in the crosswalk at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident. If you saw this Garden Grove pedestrian accident or have any information about it, please call Investigator Jason Perkins at 714-741-5823.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of William Mendoza for their heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were 49 personal injuries reported in Garden Grove involving pedestrian accidents. In Orange County, 41 fatalities and 726 injuries were reported in 2007 as a result of pedestrian accidents.
Based on this newspaper report, it is not clear whether the pedestrian, Mendoza, was crossing the street in a crosswalk or at an intersection. If he was crossing either in a crosswalk or in an intersection, then the driver of the SUV could be held liable for the Garden Grove pedestrian accident and fatal injuries.
California law is very clear when it comes to the rights of pedestrians who are walking across the street. California Vehicle Code section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the 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 that 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 a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
The family of William Mendoza could benefit from a consultation with an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney, who will be able to investigate the details of this crash further, talk to eyewitnesses, examine police reports carefully and determine who should be held responsible for Mendoza’s fatal personal injuries. A skilled Orange County personal injury attorney will also be able to determine if there was a dangerous condition on that Garden Grove roadway, which caused or contributed to the Orange County pedestrian accident. If that is the case, then the city could be held liable. Any claim against a California governmental agency must be filed properly within six months of the accident occurring.