Source: Riverside County Sheriff Coroner report and the Associated Press.
PALM SPRINGS, California – World War II Veteran Robert Mathiasen, 87, of Goleta who was in town for a bomb squadron reunion was struck and killed Friday as he crossed North Palm Canyon Drive with his wife, according to a Riverside County Sheriff Coroner report and news sources.
Mathiasen and his wife Lorraine Mathiasen, 83, were crossing the street between Via Esculela and Vista Chino when they were both struck by a Ford Taurus about 7:28 p.m., according to the coroner report. Mathiasen and his wife were both transported to Desert Regional Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit where he died nearly two hours later at 9:18 p.m. and she was listed in critical condition.
According to news accounts, Mathiasen and his wife were planning to attend the 100th Bomb Group reunion held Saturday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The WWII veteran served two years in the 418th Bomb Squadron and had completed some 30 missions over Europe during the war, according to the AP report.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Source: California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report
Pedestrians need to be especially cautious on our roadways because they are more vulnerable to injury or death. There were two pedestrians killed and 21 others injured in car accidents in Palm Springs in 2009, according to the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report. In Riverside County 39 pedestrians died and 370 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.
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.”
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, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.