A Newport Beach woman who was walking her dog the morning of Sunday, Sept. 6, was struck and killed by a man who ended up leaving the scene of the crash. According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the woman was walking her dog and crossing the street at Irvine Avenue and Mesa Drive when the driver of a silver Hyundai sedan ran a red light and struck her. The driver continued south on Irvine Avenue. The woman and her dog who were walking on the crosswalk died at the crash site.
About three hours after the crash, Riverside police contacted California Highway Patrol officials saying they had detained 31-year-old Ali Zohair Fakhreddine and that his vehicle had fresh damage. CHP then arrested Fakhreddine on suspicion of hit-and-run and drunk driving. An investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the woman who was killed tragically in this horrific pedestrian accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the pedestrian was walking in a marked crosswalk with the light when the driver, Fakhreddine, ran a red light and struck her and her dog, fatally injuring both of them. Officials also say he was operating the vehicle under the influence and that he left the scene of a fatal crash without stopping to assist the victim or waiting for the authorities to arrive. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a), motorists are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
California Vehicle Code 20001 (a) requires motorists to stop and remain at the scene of an injury or fatal crash and get help for those injured. It is also illegal under California Vehicle Code 23152(a) to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
We are relieved that the hit-and-run suspect, in this case, is apprehended and we hope he is brought to justice. In such cases, in addition to facing criminal penalties, hit and run drivers can also be held financially responsible for the losses caused. In cases where wrongdoing is involved families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer will be able to advice victims’ families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.