A woman was killed and her 10-year-old daughter was injured when they were hit by a semi truck while walking in a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Fountain and Bronson avenues in Hollywood. According to a CBS news report, the fatal accident occurred the morning of February 11, 2014 in the 13000 block of Bronson Avenue near Joseph Le Conte Middle School. The woman died from her injuries and her daughter is said to be in stable condition.
CBS News talked to Ira Belgrade, a parent who led a safety committee for nearby Citizens of the World Charter School. She said the committee has been calling for school officials to put in a permanent crossing guard, but that has not happened. She said the intersection is extremely dangerous and this is exactly the kind of “nightmare scenario” they have been trying to avoid.
We offer our deepest condolences to the victim’s family for their terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the child who has lost her mother and is recovering from her injuries.
Dangerous Roadway Conditions
Based on this news report, it appears that this is not the first time neighbors are talking about this hazardous crosswalk. NBC News reports that parents whose children walk or bike to the school say the T-intersection is too dangerous and needs improvements such as a traffic signal and a crossing guard.
At the very least, they say the crosswalk should have flashing lights to alert motorists. Belgrade says the safety committee did ask the school district for flashing lights at the crosswalk, but said school officials told her that the city “won’t pay for it.” Los Angeles Unified School District officials said they have investigated traffic flow at the location and have requested a crossing guard, but that city did not assign one due to “limited resources.”
Bringing about Justice and Change
When an accident and resulting injuries are directly caused by a dangerous roadway condition, the governmental entity in charge of maintaining that roadway can be held liable. Our law firm helped secure a multi-million dollar settlement for Christopher Chan who was struck while riding his bike to school and became catastrophically injured. In that case, the city of Hanford failed to install a crosswalk near Chan’s school allowing a dangerous condition to exist.
Chan was severely brain-injured as a result of the accident. In that case, just as in the Hollywood incident, city officials knew safety features were needed to protect pedestrians, especially children. In both situations, the governmental entities chose not to implement those safety features in spite of understanding the hazards.
The estimated value of the lifetime payout Chan will receive as a result of the settlement is about $40 million. This money will not bring the old Christopher back. But, it will give his parents peace of mind, knowing that their child will be provided for and cared for, even when they are no longer there. Also, there is now a crosswalk on the roadway where Chan was hit, which will hopefully prevent other injuries and fatalities at that location.