Source: San Diego County Medical Examiner report.

SAN DIEGO, California – Daniela Lopez, 22, was struck and killed by a car Tuesday afternoon as she was crossing the street near the intersection of Logan Avenue and 49th Street, according to a San Diego County Medical Examiner report.

Paramedics responded to the scene of the crash and initiated advanced life saving measures and transported her to the hospital emergency department. Despite aggressive effort to save her life, she could not be revived and death was pronounced in the trauma unit, the report said.

California Pedestrian Law

“Motorists are required by law to yeild the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway whether they are in a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950, however, pedestrians also have a duty on roadways to exercise due care for his or her own 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.”

It is incumbent upon a driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk that they exercise all due care and 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, the law says.

Under no circumstances does the requirement that pedestrians exercise due care does that “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.”

Indeed, drivers are typically responsible to victims of pedestrian accidents and liable for their injuries financially, Seegmiller said.

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 57 pedestrians killed and 937 others injured in car accidents in San Diego County in 2009, according to the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Report.  Overall there were 217 fatal traffic accidents and 12,993 injuries in 2009 in San Diego.

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.

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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.