Brittney Cheeseman, 18, lost her unborn child in a Los Angeles car accident when a vehicle struck her as she crossed the street. According to a news report in the Daily Breeze, the pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Manchester Boulevard and Market Street in Inglewood, the night of August 20, 2011. Officials say Cheeseman was walking in a crosswalk when a gray 1996 Nissan ran a red light, hit her and fled the scene. Cheeseman has been treated for her injuries and is expected to survive, but her unborn child died.
The driver responsible for the accident, later identified as 57-year-old Janine Rachel Mayfield, was tracked down by the authorities after an “exhaustive investigation” and arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. Officials apparently used a license plate number provided by witnesses at the scene.
My thoughts and prayers are with Brittney Cheeseman following this tragic hit-and-run car accident. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), four people were killed and 59 were injured in Inglewood pedestrian accidents. During that same year, there were 179 fatalities and 4,918 injuries reported due to Los Angeles County pedestrian accidents.
Violation of Laws
If the details of this news report are accurate, it appears that Cheeseman was using the crosswalk when the driver ran a red light and struck her. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians who are walking in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
Additionally, California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
I’m relieved to hear that this dangerous driver was apprehended and I commend the witnesses at the scene who provided officers with the suspect’s license plate number. In this particular case, the driver not only ran a red light and struck a pregnant woman, but also left her lying on the street without even stopping to help. This is an absolutely inexcusable act! Leaving the scene of an injury crash is also illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a)
The injured victim in this case would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. In such cases injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to car accident victims and their families.