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San Francisco Car Accident Kills Pedestrian


Feng Zhu, 54, was killed in a San Francisco car accident after she was struck while walking in a crosswalk along a busy residential street in the West Portal area. According to a news report in the San Francisco Examiner, Zhu was walking north on Sloat Boulevard near Forest View Drive the evening of January 6, 2010 when she was hit by a vehicle driven by a 68-year-old man. The crosswalk in which Zhu was walking was unlit, police said. Zhu was taken to a local hospital where she died the following morning. An investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Feng Zhu. My heart goes out especially to her grieving family members. They will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.

Pedestrian Accidents in San Francisco

This is apparently the first pedestrian fatality reported in San Francisco in 2010. Two months ago, a group called Transportation for America released a study, which showed that 27 percent of all traffic accident fatalities in the San Francisco region (including Oakland and Fremont), involved pedestrian accidents. In 2008 alone, 72 people died in pedestrian accidents in San Francisco. That number was up from 64 in 2007.

What Caused this Accident?

In this particular case, based on this news report, it appears that the driver did not see the woman crossing in the marked crosswalk. However, the report states that it was dark at the time and the crosswalk was unlit. That raises the question of whether a dangerous roadway condition contributed to the accident. We also do not know whether the driver was impaired, speeding, distracted or otherwise reckless at the time of this fatal collision.

Laws and Liability Issues

California law requires motorists to yield right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks. California law requires motorists to yield right-of-way to pedestrians walking in crosswalks. 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.”

If this car accident was the result of negligence on the part of the driver, he should be held liable for the accident and resulting fatal injuries. If a dangerous or defective roadway caused or contributed to this tragic accident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining that roadway could also be held liable. Any such claim in California should be filed within 180 days of the accident or injury. An experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer will be able to guide victims’ families through what can be a complex legal process and help them secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.

I join safety advocates in asking the city of San Francisco to invest in pedestrian safety. Making these crosswalks and busy roadways safer can go a long way to help prevent tragedies similar to what occurred in this pedestrian accident.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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