Sladen John Mohl, 19, was killed in a Torrance pedestrian accident that involved three vehicles and according to officials, a 16-year-old driver who was under the influence, the Daily Breeze reports. The fatal incident occurred the night of April 18 at the intersection of Sepulveda and Hawthorne boulevards. When officers arrived, they found the injured pedestrian being treated by paramedics, but he died shortly afterwards from his injuries. Officers arrested a 16-year-old driver who they suspect was driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
The 16-year-old was driving a Toyota SUV south on Hawthorne approaching Sepulveda when police say she ran a red light and struck the pedestrian who was standing on an island separating lanes. The SUV then went on to hit two more vehicles traveling westbound through the intersection on a green light. The drivers of those two vehicles were not injured, officials said. The 16-year-old driver was arrested. An investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Sladen John Mohl for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Teenagers and Car Accidents
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, young people ages 15 to19 represented 6.5 percent of the U.S. population. However, they accounted for an estimated $13.6 billion (8.4 percent) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. Statistics also show that at all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers. In 2016, 15 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a BAC of .08 percent or higher.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that this young driver not only ran a red light and struck the pedestrian, triggering a three-car crash, but was also driving while under the influence. If this information is accurate, this teen driver violated the law and caused a fatal pedestrian accident.
However, in addition to criminal charges she is likely to face, the at-fault driver in such cases may also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. If the driver is a minor, as she is in this case, her parents/guardians may be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death.
Family members of deceased accident victims in such cases may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to advise them regarding their legal rights and options.