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Elderly Woman Killed in Los Angeles County Pedestrian Accident


A 71-year-old woman was killed in a Los Angeles County crash after a vehicle that was making a right turn struck her. According to a news report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection of Colima Road and Otterbein Avenue in the city of Rowland Heights.

California Highway Patrol officials say the woman was walking eastbound on Colima Road crossing Otterbein Avenue when a Mazda CX-5, which was southbound on Otterbein, made a right onto Colima Road and struck her. The pedestrian landed under the SUV and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, a 28-year-old woman told officers she did not see the pedestrian while making the turn. No arrests or citations have been reported. The investigation is ongoing.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 13 fatalities and 298 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Also, countywide, traffic accidents claimed 195 lives and caused 4,535 injuries during the same year.

Right-of-Way Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the SUV made a right turn at the intersection and failed to see the woman crossing the street. The intersection where this collision occurred has traffic lights as well as marked crosswalks. It is not clear if the pedestrian was in a crosswalk when she was 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.”

Fault and Liability

In this case, I trust officials are looking into whether the driver was distracted or otherwise negligent at the time of the collision. If she is determined to have been at fault, in addition to citations or charges, she can also be held civilly liable for the victim’s wrongful death. In such cases families of deceased victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.

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