FULLERTON, California — Gregory Pflum, 52, of Fullerton was struck and killed Saturday night near a Public Storage facility in the 2400 block of West Commonwealth Avenue, according to a press release issued by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The driver of a 2011 Ford Fusion struck Pflum about 9:54 p.m. as he began crossing the street from the north side of Commonweath Avenue at a stretch of roadway where there is no nearby traffic lights or stop signs.
Paramedics responding to the scene of the pedestrian accident pronounced Pflum dead at the scene due to his injuries sustained in the car crash. The driver and his female passenger were questioned and released by police officers responding to the accident. Police indicated that speed and alcohol were not a factor in the crash and the driver was released without being cited.
Witnesses who saw the crash are asked to call police at 714-738-6812.
“Drivers are required by law to yield for pedestrians crossing roadways even if they are walking outside of a crosswalk,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm. “This driver did the right thing by remaining at the scene of the pedestrian accident, however, he may still be held financially liable for this family’s tragic loss.”
Liability and California Pedestrian Law
“Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a) 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, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
(c) 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 the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”
Fullerton Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Source: California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report
Pedestrians need to be especially cautious on our roadways because not only are they more vulnerable to injury or death, but drivers are more distracted than ever due to the growth of mobile electronic devices. There was one pedestrian killed and 61 others injured in car accidents in Fullerton in 2009, according to the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report. In Orange County 41 pedestrians died and 864 were injured in 2009.
In California, there were 598 pedestrians killed and 12,418 injured in 2009, according to the CHP traffic report.
National data compiled by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Authority shows that pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the United States were up 4.9% in 2010 to 4,280 deaths and injuries were up 19% in 2010 to 70,000 people injured.
The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST. For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought for clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, at-work injuries and more. The firm has offices in Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, San Diego, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.