Samuel Suh, 76, was killed in a Santa Ana car accident after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing at a street intersection. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred the morning of October 31, 2011 at the intersection of 15th Street and North Van Ness Avenue. Suh was at the intersection when he was struck, but officials are still looking into whether he was walking in a crosswalk. Suh was transported to a local trauma center where he died. The driver remained at the scene. No arrests were made. An investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Samuel Suh for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Orange County Pedestrian Accidents
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were seven fatalities and 145 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Santa Ana. In Orange County as a whole, 41 people died and 864 were injured due to pedestrian accidents, during the same year.
Based on this news report, it appears that officials are still looking into whether the pedestrian was in a crosswalk at the time. California law requires motorists to yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked and unmarked 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.”
Claim for Compensation
I trust officials are also determining whether the driver was under the influence, speeding, driving distracted, or negligent in some other way. If the driver is found to have been at fault, he or she could be held liable for Suh’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. Family members of deceased victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Santa Ana personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.