David Cortez, 58, was killed in a Corona collision after a vehicle hit him as he crossed the road, the evening of October 28, 2012. According to a CBS news report, the pedestrian accident occurred near the intersection of Sixth and Merrill streets.
Police say Cortez was walking southbound across Sixth Street when a vehicle driven by Israel Andrade, 23, struck him. Officials suspect Cortez was not in a designated crosswalk when the incident occurred. Cortez died at the scene. Andrade was not arrested or cited. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family members and friends of David Cortez for their terrible loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
One fatality and 28 injuries were reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in Corona, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). During that same year, 190 people died and 7,632 were injured due to pedestrian accidents countywide.
Laws Relating to Pedestrians
Based on this news article, officials suspect that Cortez was not walking in a marked crosswalk at the time of the incident although he was near the intersection. California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” The same section also states: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
In this particular case, I trust officials are looking into whether the driver was speeding, under the influence, distracted, inattentive or otherwise negligent at the time. If the driver is determined to have been at fault, he could be held liable for the pedestrian’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of love and companionship.
In such cases, a knowledgeable Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to advise the victim’s family if a dangerous roadway condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental entity responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental entity must be filed within six months of the incident.