A car accident in Thousand Oaks resulted in critical injuries for a woman and three children who were struck by a van while walking in a marked crosswalk. According to the Ventura County Star, the major injury collision occurred the afternoon of May 22, 2012 on Thousand Oaks Boulevard at Live Oak Street. Police say the 29-year-old woman was crossing East Thousand Oaks Boulevard in a crosswalk with a 2-year-old child in a stroller and three other girls ages 3, 5 and 6.
A westbound minivan approached in the fast lane. The woman pushed the stroller to safety and the toddler escaped injury. However, the woman and three girls were hit. The injured victims were transported to a local hospital where they are said to be in critical but stable condition. The driver was not arrested pending an official investigation.
My heart goes out to the woman and the three children who have been severely injured in this car accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 23 injuries reported in Thousand Oaks as a result of pedestrian accidents. In Ventura County as a whole, 10 people died and 196 were injured due to pedestrian accidents, during the same year.
Based on this news article, it appears that the driver did not see the woman and children in the crosswalk. I trust officials are looking into whether the driver was impaired, distracted, inattentive, speeding or otherwise negligent at the time. Motorists are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians walking in crosswalks.
California Vehicle Code Section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Neighbors and business owners say the crosswalk where this accident occurred is a dangerous one although improvements were made last year with flashing lights and higher-visibility striping. Residents say the city must install a traffic light at the location, which will force motorists to slow down and pay attention to pedestrians crossing at the busy intersection.
If the driver is determined to have been at fault here, he or she can be held liable for the serious injuries caused. In such cases, injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault party for damages including medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
A knowledgeable Ventura personal injury lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to this incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury claim against a public entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident.