A 13-year-old boy in Martinez, Calif. was killed when be was struck by a teenage driver at a busy and apparently dangerous intersection as he was riding his bicycle. According to a news article in CBS News’ Web site, the boy, identified as Tommy Choi, sustained major injuries and was rushed to the hospital where he died an hour after the accident.
The boy was reportedly riding his bike back from school on the busy street, which had a speed limit of 35 mph. The driver who hit the boy was a 16-year-old. Drugs or alcohol don’t seem to be a factor but we don’t know yet if the driver was speeding or was distracted in some other way. The teen driver has not been cited or charged yet.
This is of course a huge tragedy for the family of the 13-year-old boy. Our hearts and prayers go out to them. What is even more heart-breaking is the fact that these types of auto accidents and bicycle accidents would be entirely avoidable if only the cities and agencies that are responsible for the roadways fix the dangers at busy intersections.
This very much reminds me of a recent case our firm has been dealing with where we are representing Christopher Chan, a 14-year-old boy, who was hit by a car at a similar dangerous intersection. He suffered severe injuries, including a debilitating brain injury. The City of Hanford did nothing to fix the dangerous situation on the roadway.
I understand that in these tough economic times, funding for street projects is hard to come by for cities and county agencies. But often, the solutions are simple. Improving visibility, adding flashing lights to draw attention to pedestrians crossing the street and clearing out obstructions such as foliage, will greatly help to reduce the risk of an injury or fatal accident at dangerous, especially busy, intersections. It’ll certainly be a lot cheaper than paying out multi-million dollar settlements to accident injury victims and the city of Hanford can vouch for that.