Andrew Pehrson, 23, was killed in a car accident in Santa Ana after a vehicle struck him as he was crossing a roadway. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Main Street and MacArthur Boulevard early morning on December 27, 2012. Police say Pehrson and his brother were walking northbound across MacArthur when a Jeep Cherokee traveling southbound struck Pehrson. The driver remained at the scene. No arrests or citations were reported. An investigation is ongoing.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and friends of Andrew Pehrson for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Collisions in Orange County
There were six fatalities and 134 injuries reported in Santa Ana as a result of pedestrian accidents, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). Also, during the same year, 32 people died and 770 were injured as a result of Orange County pedestrian accidents.
Who Had the Right of Way?
Based on this news report, it appears that this fatal accident occurred at a large Santa Ana intersection with traffic lights and marked crosswalks. However, it is not clear who had the right of way at the time or if Pehrson was in a crosswalk at the time. California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: “Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.” The same section also states: “The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”
Fault and Liability
If the driver in this case is determined to have been at fault, he or she can be held liable for Pehrson’s wrongful death. In such cases, families of deceased victims can seek compensation for damages including medical and funeral expenses, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Santa Ana will also be able to determine if a dangerous roadway condition or a hazardous intersection caused or contributed to the fatal collision. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days of the incident.