Donald Fuschetti, 45, was killed in a Newport Beach pedestrian accident after he was struck by an SUV while walking in a marked crosswalk. According to a news report in The Daily Pilot, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection of Westcliff Drive and Rutland Road the night of October 11, 2015. A Lexus SUV that was eastbound on Westcliff struck him. The driver of the Lexus stayed at the scene and cooperated with the authorities. Fuschetti was transported to an area trauma center where he died from his injuries. Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved.
No arrests or citations were issued pending an official investigation. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Donald Fuschetti for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
There were no fatalities, but 22 injuries reported as a result of pedestrian accidents in Newport Beach, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS).
In Orange County as a whole, 52 people died and 784 were injured as a result of pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Laws Involving Pedestrians
Based on this news report, it appears that Fuschetti was walking in a marked crosswalk at Rutland at the time of the collision. However, there are no stop signs or signals at that intersection for traffic on Westcliff.
Under California law, motorists have a duty to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
California Vehicle Code section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”
The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Fault and Liability
If the driver of the SUV is determined to have been at fault, he can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. We trust officials are looking into why the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian who was walking in a marked crosswalk.
A knowledgeable Newport Beach personal injury attorney will also be able to determine whether a dangerous or defective condition on the roadway may have caused or contributed to this fatal pedestrian 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.