Joe Santos, 58, was killed in a Laguna Niguel pedestrian accident after a vehicle struck him as he was walking in a marked crosswalk. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Serenity Lane and Golden Lantern Street the morning of Dec. 31. The motorist who struck Santos remained at the scene and was interviewed by police investigators who don’t believe alcohol or drugs played a part.
A spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said the driver was not arrested and called the incident “a terrible set of circumstances.” She said the driver simply “did not see the pedestrian who was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.” No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Joe Santos for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Based on this news report, it appears that the motorist somehow failed to see the pedestrian in the crosswalk. Under California Vehicle Code 21950 (a), motorists are required to come to a complete stop at a crosswalk and yield the right of way to pedestrians.
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.”
Seeking Compensation for Losses
In such cases, a negligent motorist, in addition to potentially facing criminal charges, can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Families of deceased pedestrian accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous or defective roadway condition caused or contributed to the accident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident.