Cody Kolkow, 18, was killed in a car accident on the evening of Nov. 4 in Cherry Valley. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal crash occurred at the intersection of Brookside Avenue and Union Street. California Highway Patrol officials said a 39-year-old man was driving a Chevrolet Silverado south on Union Street and stopped at a stop sign at Brookside before proceeding through the intersection. At the same time, a driver later identified as Kolkow entered the intersection driving a Ford Mustang.
Officials said the Ford unsuccessfully attempted to avoid the Chevrolet, which ended up hitting the right front side of the Ford. The Ford then spun and the driver’s side hit a wooden power pole. Kolkow, who was alone in the Ford, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Chevy’s driver was not injured, but his passenger was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. CHP officials don’t believe that impairment played a part in this crash. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Cody Kolkow for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Law and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the intersection where this fatal crash occurred was monitored by stop signs. There are stop signs for traffic on Union Street, but not for through traffic on Brookside. While officials say based on preliminary investigations that the driver of the Chevrolet stopped at the stop sign before he proceeded into the intersection, it is unclear as to why he didn’t see the Mustang coming through.
California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
In such cases, families of deceased car accident victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside County personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and help ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.