Karey Marsh, 46, was killed Aug. 26 in a Thousand Oaks pedestrian accident after she was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver. Marsh was jogging in the bike lane near Oak Park on Lindero Canyon Road when 23-year-old Nicholas Lagrotta struck her and veered off the road into some bushes, according to an article in the Ventura County Star.
Marsh was thrown 30 feet into the bushes. Lagrotta apparently wasn’t even aware that he’d hit someone. But deputies suspected he had struck someone because they saw Marsh’s jogging shoes on the sidewalk. Firefighters had to use a thermal camera to locate Marsh’s body and cut through the heavy shrubbery to get to her. Traffic investigators, who questioned Lagrotta, determined that he was under the influence of alcohol. They arrested Lagrotta on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.
I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Karey Marsh. Marsh was reportedly an experienced runner who had done early morning laps regularly around the neighborhood for many years.
In my opinion, Lagrotta was negligent for driving drunk and should be held criminally and civilly responsible for causing Marsh’s death. If I were representing the Marsh family, I would also look into whether there was a dangerous condition on that stretch of Lindero Canyon Road, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists. Last year, the City of Dana Point settled for $49 million with two Orange County joggers who suffered catastrophic injuries in an identical pedestrian accident.
In the Orange County case, the lawsuit alleged that the road was unsafe because the bike lane was too wide and improperly marked. Drivers mistook it for another traffic lane.
Due to the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents at the same location, Dana Point has erected concrete barriers to protect joggers and bicyclists in the lane.
Marsh’s family should definitely consult a reputed California personal injury lawyer who has experience handling pedestrian accident cases. Please remember in California any claim against a governmental agency must be made within 180 days of the incident.