Carl Evans, 30, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident after a vehicle that drifted out of traffic lanes struck him. According to a news article in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred early morning on September 23, 2012 along Highway 18 near the lower Waterman Canyon turnoff in Crestline. Officials say Evans was struck by 45-year-old Margaret Stegenga who had been drinking. However, Stegenga has not been arrested “because the degree of her alcohol impairment” has not yet been determined. Investigators have established that Evans, who was walking beside the roadway, was hit by Stegenga’s vehicle that drifted out of traffic lanes.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Carl Evans for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 10 fatalities and 55 injuries due to pedestrian accidents in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino. Countywide, pedestrian collisions claimed 33 lives and injured 392 people during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, the driver of the car drifted out of her traffic lane and hit the pedestrian. Investigators also say she had been drinking. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”
Motorists are required to maintain their lane while driving unless a lane change can be made safely. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21658: “Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction…a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
In such cases, even if a driver is not cited or criminally charged, he or she can be held civilly liable if he or she is determined to have been negligent. Examples of driver negligence include driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, reckless driving, speeding and driving inattentively. If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, she can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. Victims’ families can seek compensation for medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship and other damages. An experienced San Bernardino personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise the family of a deceased victim about their legal rights and options. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.