A 12-year-old boy was riding his bike Thursday morning when he was struck by a pickup truck pulling out of a driveway at a local RV park. The driver heard a thump but continued driving until he circled back around to see what the source of the sound was. Sadly, he found the boy under his truck.
Paramedics were called in and arrived a short time later to perform CPR on the boy who was unconscious but breathing. The boy was airlifted to Tri City Hospital and died a few minutes later. No one else was hurt in the crash.
There Are Laws to Prevent This
Unfortunately, death or extreme injury is all too common when cyclists meet 2-ton vehicles on the road, and this is why we have traffic laws. So what is the law that could have protected the boy in this situation?
According to California law, 21804.“The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic, as defined in Section 620, approaching on the highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety. Cal. Veh. Code Section 21804(a).
A cyclist is considered by law a road vehicle and as such must adhere to the same laws a car does with very little variance. He or she also benefits from the same rights a driver has. In this case, just as any vehicle would, the boy had the right-of-way. Unfortunately for whatever reason, driver failed to yield it to him. The family now can hold the driver accountable by proving negligence in a court of law. [See “San Diego Bicycle Accident Lawyer” for more information.]
What Do We Learn From This Horrible Accident?
Accidents like this are devastating for both sides, but especially for the family of the deceased. While a wrongful death claim can help a family recover some while they go through their grief, nothing will bring that child back. It is our hope here in our San Diego law office, where we see far too many car and bicycle accidents and injuries, that we can all at least be reminded by stories like this to drive cautiously at all times and hopefully prevent future accidents. Abide by the law, keep your eyes on the road and your cell phones packed away, leave in plenty of time so you don’t feel the need to rush, be observant to everything around you, don’t drive under the influence, and especially be on the lookout for those on bikes or pedestrians who don’t have 2-tons of metal around them for protection are just some of the ways we can drive safer.
Drivers, we’d also like to invite you to read an article we posted earlier this year in which we gave cyclists a chance to make their own safety requests of you. In honor of this young man who just lost his life, please take a moment to read “7 things cyclists wish drivers knew.“
If you’ve lost a loved one in a San Diego bicycle or car accident, a wrongful death claim can help recover your financial losses. Please call (619) 444-2244 to find out what your options are and what you can expect. You will speak to directly with an attorney who is an expert in bicycle accident injuries and death.