Three sisters, ages 5, 10 and 16, suffered serious injuries in a Los Angeles car accident after they were struck by a vehicle while walking to school. According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the major injury collision occurred in the 1400 block of West Temple Street in Echo Park, the morning of September 27, 2011. The girls were walking in a marked crosswalk while heading to a nearby elementary school, which the two younger girls attend. The driver who hit them was apparently a parent who had dropped off her own child at school. She told officials she did not see the girls in the crosswalk. All three victims were transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.
My heart goes out to these three children and their family members for what they are going through at this time. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. They will certainly be in my prayers.
Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 82 fatalities and 2,630 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in the city of Los Angeles. Countywide, pedestrian accidents claimed 179 lives and injured 4,918 people, during the same year.
Based on this news report, the sisters were walking in a marked crosswalk when the vehicle hit them. Under California law, drivers are required to stop and yield right-of-way to pedestrians in marked or 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.”
Fault and Liability
It is unclear why the female driver did not see the pedestrians in the crosswalk. I trust officials are looking into whether she was distracted, inattentive, speeding or otherwise negligent at the time. If this motorist is determined to have been at fault, then she can be held liable for the victims’ serious injuries. Car accident victims or their families in such cases would be well-advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.