Sarah Leaf, 29, was killed in a bicycle accident in Newport Beach after a stake-bed truck hit her, the morning of September 14, 2012. According to a news report in Corona del Mar Today, the fatal traffic accident occurred at the intersection of East Coast Highway and Bayside Drive. Police say Leaf was riding her bike on East Coast Highway and was preparing to make a right onto Bayside, when the truck driver, who was traveling in the same direction, attempted a right turn, struck and ran her over. Leaf died from her injuries. No arrests or citations have been reported yet.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who knew and loved Sarah Leaf. She was apparently a certified nutritionist at a local fitness center and spa. This is indeed a tragic incident! I offer my deepest condolences to her family members and friends.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
One person died and 93 were injured as a result of bicycle accidents in Newport Beach, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). During the same year, three fatalities and 1,187 injuries were reported due to Orange County bicycle accidents.
What Caused This Fatal Crash?
Based on this news article, it is not clear why the driver of the stake-bed truck failed to see Leaf on her bicycle. There are several unanswered questions here. Was the truck’s driver impaired? Was he or she distracted or inattentive? Did excessive speed or recklessness play a part in this collision? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Fault and Liability
If the truck driver is determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for the incident. If the truck driver was on the job at the time, his or her employer can also be held liable for Leaf’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased accident victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of love and companionship. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Newport Beach will be able to better advise victims’ families in such cases about their legal rights and options.