Claude J. Makin, 89, was killed in a Lake Forest car accident after his car was struck by another vehicle at a street intersection. According to a news report in The Lake Forest Patch, the incident occurred the morning of December 13, 2013, at the intersection of Rockfield Boulevard and Dune Mear. Officials say Makin, who was driving a 1984 Cadillac El Dorado, was struck by a 1995 Infiniti sedan as he pulled onto Rockfield from the Dune Mear access road.
The driver of the Infiniti was identified as a 23-year-old man. Officials say the elderly driver was making a left turn when he was struck in the driver’s side door and quarter panel. Makin was transported to an area hospital where he died. The driver of the Infiniti suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 159 injuries reported as a result of car accidents in Lake Forest. In Orange County as a whole, 100 people died and 13,368 were injured due to traffic accidents during the same year.
What Caused This Crash?
Based on this news report, it appears that there was a stop sign at Dune Mear, while traffic on Rockfield had not stop signs. It is not clear if the elderly driver failed to stop at the stop sign or if this was a dangerous intersection where visibility was poor. I also trust officials are looking into how fast the other driver was going at the time of the crash. California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a) requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution.
Fault and Liability
In such cases, the at-fault party can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. A knowledgeable Orange County personal injury lawyer will also be able to determine whether a dangerous or defective roadway condition caused or contributed to an accident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.