A Santa Ana pedestrian killed in a crosswalk in Garden Grove was a 51 year old woman. The driver of the pickup truck who caused the accident was not cited or taken into custody. There is a question as to whether the pedestrian was physically within the crosswalk when the fatal accident occurred, and the driver of the pickup did stop, provide assistance and remain at the scene.
It was 10:00 pm on a Friday night, but alcohol and drugs do not appear to have been a factor in the accident. The legal question is whether the death of the pedestrian is a “wrongful death” under California law. The lack of a police citation (ticket) has no legal bearing in these matters, as wrongful death is a civil and financial action, not a criminal case. The legal question will focus on whether the driver of the pickup actually caused her death, and is liable in a civil action. The fact that she was allegedly outside of a crosswalk does not relieve a driver of the legal obligation to avoid striking and injuring a pedestrian.
In my 40+ years of experience as an injury attorney here in Orange County I have taken several cases where the “facts” seemed to be against my clients and their families. I recently successfully completed a case of a skateboarder who was injured while riding his board in the center of the street. He was hit by a car, and the insurance company attempted to blame the youngster for his injuries. One simple question resolved the case: if that kid was riding in the center of a road why was the driver crossing the double yellow line to hit and injure him?
This case has many of the same elements. A Santa Ana pedestrian killed in a Garden Grove accident should not have been struck by a pickup truck. This has all the potential for a wrongful death case, and our firm welcomes inquiries on complex cases such as these. I invite you to call (949) 305-1400 and discuss your situation free of charge. Our thoughts are with the family of Santa Ana victim in this case.