Chuyen Nguyen, 74, was killed in a Westminster car accident after a vehicle that was backing out of a parking stall struck her, the night of May 23, 2012. According to The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the Saigon City Supermarket in the 15400 block of Brookhurst Street. Police say Nguyen and her husband were walking through the parking lot when the vehicle hit Nguyen. The 61-year-old driver remained at the scene and told officials that he did not see the victim approaching. Nguyen was transported to a trauma center with a possible broken leg and internal injuries. She died from her injuries the following day. Police have not made any arrests pending the results of the investigation.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family members and many friends of Chuyen Nguyen, especially her husband who was with her at the time of the collision. Please keep this grieving family in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 24 were injured as a result of pedestrian accidents in the city of Westminster. In Orange County as a whole, pedestrian accidents claimed 41 lives and injured 864 people, during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver did not see the pedestrian walking behind as he backed up. According to California Vehicle Code Section 22106: “No person shall start a vehicle stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, nor shall any person back a vehicle on a highway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
If the driver is determined to have been negligent or at fault, he can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. I trust officials are also looking into whether there was an unsafe condition at the parking lot. Was the supermarket’s parking lot well lit? Were there any obstructions? If there was a dangerous condition on the lot, the property owner can also be held liable.
In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship and other related damages. Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.