Debra H. Deem, 58, of Laguna Beach, was killed in a Newport Beach bicycle accident after she was hit by a minivan. According to a news report in The Daily Pilot, the fatal bicycle crash occurred when Deem was riding a bicycle west on East Coast Highway. A minivan struck her just east of Newport Coast Drive the afternoon of August 27, 2013. Paramedics took Deem to an area trauma center. She died from her injuries the following day. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash. So far, no citations or arrests have been reported.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Debra Deem for their tragic and devastating loss. According to Corona del Mar Today, Deem was an avid cyclist and her husband, Paul Deem, was an Olympic cyclist and is a cycling coach and owner of Cycle Werks that has stores in Costa Mesa and San Clemente.
Bicycle Accidents in Newport Beach
Last year, two women cyclists were killed in Newport Beach within two days, leading to citywide measures for bicycle safety. Newport Beach held a memorial bike ride and created a fund that is dedicated to bike safety improvements. The city also painted bike sharrows in Corona del Mar to help facilitate bicycle safety.
What Caused the Crash?
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to how or why this bicycle collision occurred. There are several unanswered questions here. How did the collision occur? Who was at fault? Who had the right-of-way at the time? Did alcohol or drugs play a part? Was the driver distracted, inattentive or otherwise negligent at the time? Was there a dangerous condition on the roadway, which may have caused or contributed to this accident. I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
If the driver is determined to have been at fault, then, he or she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. A knowledgeable Newport Beach personal injury lawyer that specializes in bicycle injury cases will also be able to determine whether a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable for the damages. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.