Archive for Hit and Run Car Accident

2014 New California Laws to Crackdown on Hit-and-run Drivers, Teenages Who Text and Give Bicyclists More Space

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Hit-and-run drivers, teenage drivers, bicyclists and DUI drivers are addressed under several new laws in California in 2014 — file photo

Roadways Should be Safer Under These New California Laws for 2014

Police will be armed with several new laws this year aimed at making California roads safer for motorists and bicyclists and everyone sharing our roadways in 2014 and beyond.


It’s going to be more difficult for hit-and-run drivers to avoid punishment starting New Year’s Day as this new California law extends the time limit to prosecute these motorists who flee the scene of an injury or fatal accident.

Indeed, under AB 184, the statute of limitations to file a criminal complaint against hit-and-run drivers has been extended to three years and they may be prosecuted for up to one year after the person is identified by police as the suspect.

The new law was proposed by Assemblyman Mike Gatto last year. Gatto, whose district includes Burbank, Glendale, Little Armenia, La Crescenta, Los Feliz and Montrose spearheaded the new law in an effort to help victims obtain justice.

“These hit-and-run drivers are often unlicensed, uninsured and intoxicated,” said Attorney West Thomas, a personal injury attorney. “This law is long overdue and necessary to help assist victims of these crimes who are hurt or the families of those killed by these cowards.”


A recent law that went into operation on Sept. 20, 2013, allows law enforcement officers the ability to issue a search warrant to conduct a blood test on an individual suspected of DUI driving.

Under SB 717 DeSaulnier, police may now draw blood in a “reasonable, medically approved manner” to prove a misdemeanor DUI if the person refuses the test.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a non-profit that has served more than 61,000 victims and survivors of drunk and drugged crashes, some 28 people will die every day in a crash resulting from the actions of a drunk driver.

“MADD statistics show that car accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers,” adds Thomas, a supporter of MADD and its mission. “Also, roughly 25 percent of all DUI car accidents involve an underage driver.”


Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, teenage drivers under 18 years old will no longer be permitted to use voice-recognition devices such as the Apple Siri to text or send messages while driving.

Under California law, drivers may use the hands-free mode to talk on cell phones while behind the wheel, but this new law will also expand the law to prohibit all drivers from using wireless devices to write, send, or read a texts.

According to the most recent statistics compiled in 2010 by State Farm Insurance there were 12,000 deaths and 330,000 injuries reported from 636,000 accidents in the United States due to distracted driving.

“Drivers are more distracted than ever on our roadways,” Thomas said. “Despite laws prohibiting cell phone use without the hands-free mode, drivers continue to use them behind the wheel.”

Bicyclists Get 3-foot Passing Distance — file photo


A new 2014 California law affecting all motorists aims to make roads safer for bicyclists by providing a 3-foot passing distance.

Under (AB 1371), which takes effect on September 16, 2014, drivers passing a bicyclist must leave a 3-foot space between them and a rider.

However, if it is impossible to allow this space, the driver must slow down to a “reasonable and prudent speed.” Motorists who fail to adhere to the new law could face a fine whether there is an accident or not.

“Bicyclists are the most vulnerable people on our roadways as they ride alongside motorists,” said Thomas. “Many of these types of accidents also involve hit-and-run drivers who leave the cyclist to die in the streets or face huge medical bills for severe injuries alone. This law will hopefully cut down on bike crashes this year and for many to come.”

Fatal and injury bicycle accidents have been on the rise in recent years, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Report between 2007 and 2011. Deaths grew from 125 in 2007 to 131 in 2008, 109 in 2009, 111 in 2010 and 142 in 2011. Bicyclists injured in accident during the 5-year period were as follows: 10,521 in 2007; 11,683 in 2008; 11,993 in 2009; 12,591 in 2010; and 13,567 in 2011.


For more than 32 years, The Thomas Law Firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought to win justice on behalf of clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice and more.  The firm has offices throughout California as well as Las Vegas, Nevada.

Contact us for a free case evaluation at 855-275-9378.

You will never pay a fee unless we win your case.

(Copyright ©2013 The Thomas Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.)

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HUNTINGTON BEACH: Matthew Aguilar, 28, Killed in Pedestrian Accident on PCH

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver who Fled Scene of Pedestrian Accident

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Dec. 29, 2013)  — A 28-year-old Costa Mesa man was killed early Saturday morning after he was struck by two drivers on Pacific Coast Highway near Brookhurst Street, according to a press release by the Huntington Beach Police Department.

About 4:33 a.m., on Dec. 28, police say Matthew Aguilar was crossing the road when a northbound silver 2003 Cadillac SLS struck him. The 55-year-old driver pulled over and called 9-1-1 for assistance, but Aguilar was struck by a second driver who fled the scene of the accident. Aguilar died of his injuries at the scene of the crash.

Police are seeking the public’s help in finding the driver of the second vehicle. The hit-and-run driver’s car is likely to have front-end damage.

Witnesses or anyone with information may contact Huntington Beach police at (714) 536-5670.

“Drivers who flee the scene of a fatal pedestrian accident are not only cowards, but criminals under California law,” said Attorney West Thomas. “The family of the pedestrian killed in this accident may hold this person accountable for their actions in both criminal and civil courts. Hopefully they will turn themselves in so the family may have closure.”

(Copyright ©2013 The Thomas Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.)


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Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver in Subaru who Killed Pedestrian Cynthia Rallo, 40, of Perris

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Woman, 40, Killed in Perris Hit-and-run Crash — file photo

Cynthia Rallo Identified as Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run Accident on Cajalco Road

PERRIS, California (Dec. 19, 2013) – Police are seeking the public’s help in finding a hit-and-run driver in a Subaru who left a 40-year-old woman to die on Cajalco Road near Seaton Avenue, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Cynthia Rallo, 40, of Perris was walking on Cajalco Road when she was struck by the driver of a Subaru that was heading eastbound on Cajalco around 2 a.m. on December 10, 2013, the Riverside County Coroner reported. Police believe other vehicles may have struck Rallo before one driver stopped to call 911 for police and paramedics.

A police investigation concluded that one of the drivers who struck the pedestrian was driving a Subaru because plastic parts marked ‘Subaru’ were left behind amongst the debris at the scene of the crash, according to a report in the Lake Elsinore Wildomar Patch.

“Sometimes these hit-and-run drivers will eventually turn themselves in or a friend or family member will pick up the phone and notify police,” said Attorney West Thomas. “Hopefully the driver does the right thing and comes forward for the sake of this woman’s family. Our prayers and condolences go out to them as they try to piece together what happened and come to terms with her death.”

Police are witnesses or anyone with information about the pedestrian accident to contact CHP investigating Officer G. Marroquin at 951-637-8000.

Perris Pedestrian Accidents

Roughly half of all fatal accidents in the city of Perris and Riverside County involve pedestrians, statistics show.

Indeed, according to the California Highway Patrol’s most recent Statewide Integrated Traffic Report, there was one death and 11 people injured in pedestrian accidents in Perris in 2011. Overall there were two people killed in the city in 2011 and 150 injured in all accidents.

Riverside County had 37 pedestrian deaths and 338 injuries in 2011, but overall had 86 fatal and 7,262 injury accidents the same year.

Insurance Claims Involving Hit-and-Run Drivers

Many people wonder what will happen if the hit-and-run driver is never found or if they do not have insurance. The survivors of someone killed in a hit-and-run car accident may file a claim with either the responsible driver’s insurance company or the victim’s own insurance provider if they carried uninsured motorist coverage on their own policy.

For more information about making a claim with an insurance company after a hit-and-run crash contact The Thomas Law Firm for a free case evaluation at 1-855-275-9378.

(Copyright ©2013 The Thomas Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.)

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RIVERSIDE: Monique Elisa Johnson Arrested for Fatal Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accident on Highway 91

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Woman Arrested on DUI and Hit-and-run Charges for fatal motorcycle accident — file photo

Suspected Drunk Driver Arrested for Hit-and-Run and Death of Motorcyclist, 25.

RIVERSIDE, California (Dec. 17, 2013) – A 25-year-old motorcycle rider was killed early Monday morning in a hit-and-run crash on the westbound Highway 91, but a few hours later police caught up with the driver and arrested her on DUI charges, according to the Press Enterprise.

About 5:58 a.m., on Dec. 16, California Highway Patrol officers arrested 23-year-old Monique Elisa Johnson of Riverside after they tracked her down following the fatal motorcycle wreck. She is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail and faces charges of hit-and-run, DUI, vehicular manslaughter and filing a false crime report.

According to police, Johnson was driving while intoxicated in a 2013 Mazda when she rear-ended the 2005 Yamaha driven by the rider. He later died at Riverside Community Hospital shortly after the accident. Preliminary investigation into the fatal crash shows that the Mazda was traveling at high speeds when it struck the motorcycle on the 91 freeway between Arlington and Central Avenues.

After the crash, about 3:40 a.m., Johnson allegedly reported the crash to police anonymously. Police caught up with the suspect on Locust Street near 13th Street in Riverside.

“Survivors of people who are killed in a motorcycle accident involving alcohol may obtain free support services from the representatives at Mothers Against Drunk Driving,” said local MADD supporter, Attorney West Thomas. “Drivers who are intoxicated and cause an accident such as this one can face both criminal and civil charges. Indeed, this type of driver should be held accountable for this man’s death. My condolences go out to his family as they try to piece together what happened.”

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CANYON LAKE: Scott Bolger, 32, of Lake Elsinore Killed in Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Crash

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Man, 32, Killed in Hit-and-Run Car Accident — file photo

CANYON LAKE, California (Dec. 17, 2013) — Scott Bolger, 32, of Lake Elsinore was struck by a hit-and-run driver and killed early Saturday morning on Railroad Canyon Road just west of Canyon Lake Dr. South, according to a press release by the Riverside County Sheriff Coroner Department.  Police are seeking the public’s assistance in finding the driver who fled the scene of this crash.

About 2:17 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2013, the Canyon Lake Police Department officers responded to a report of a pedestrian accident on Railroad Canyon Rd.

An investigation is being headed up by the Perris Station Traffic Reconstruction Unit who responded to the scene of the hit-and-run crash.

Preliminary results indicate that Bolger and a friend were walking home from a local bar and restaurant when he reportedly “stepped off the sidewalk and into the eastbound number three lane of Railroad Canyon Rd,” the report said. The driver struck Bolger and kept driving.

Police are now investigating this accident and asking the public to call Deputy Rabago at the Perris Sheriff’s Station, (951) 210-1000 with information.

“Drivers who fail to help a man dying in the street are not only cowards, but they are criminals under California laws. This is a tragedy for the family and friends of Mr. Bolger,” said Attorney West Thomas. “Police will gather evidence in an effort to find out who did this and anyone with information should step forward and help the family.”

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people traveling on our busy roadways, however, many people involved in hit-and-run accidents may not realize their own uninsured motorist insurance coverage may cover them in this type of incident.

For more information about pedestrian accidents contact The Thomas Law Firm.

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