Thursday, April 29, 2010

$5000 Reward Offered for Hit and Run Accident Information

Weeks after 21-year old Jonathan Michael Ulmer was killed in a hit and run accident, his family is now offering a $5,000 reward for help that can lead to the identification and arrest of the driver.

Ulmer was on his way home from a house party when the accident occurred. According to friends, although he was drinking beer, he was not drunk. He was left lying on the road after being struck on state Route 94 and witnesses claimed that the dark sedan which hit him stopped for a moment before driving off.

Authorities have scoured for information to determine the identity of the hit and run driver and even reviewed tapes from two nearby business but with little success. The Ulmer family is hoping the $5,000 reward will help locate the sedan which killed Jonathan which is said to have front-end damage.

Pedestrian deaths account for 12 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities. While pedestrian accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, accidents usually happen either due to the fault of the pedestrian or the driver.

Here are some of the most common mistakes made by pedestrians that lead to accidents:

• Ignoring traffic rules and signals – A lot of pedestrians disregard crosswalk signs and would prefer to “jaywalk” and ignore as traffic control signals such as “walk” and “don’t walk”. This leads to collisions that could have been avoided if the pedestrian obeyed traffic rules.
• Distracted pedestrians – There have been several instances when a pedestrian gets struck or hit by a car because instead of looking both ways before crossing, his eyes are firmly fixed on his cell phone.
• Intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol – Walking on the road while drunk is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Once a person is impaired by these substances, it can cause impaired balance, poor coordination, and lower a person’s alertness and good judgment.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s statistics, as much as 53 percent of pedestrians aged 16 and older killed in nighttime (9pm - 6am) crashes in 2008 were legally drunk.

Clearly, drunk pedestrians are just as much of a danger to themselves as drunk drivers. But unfortunately, in situations where they get injured in a car crash, they will have to shoulder the burden of all their expenses because there is no one else left to blame for their troubles but themselves.

Woman Dies in Collision Involving LAPD Patrol Vehicle

Authorities are expected to obey the law because they are the ones who are required to implement it. One of the primary duties that they have is to ensure the safety of everyone.

It is unfortunate that two Los Angeles police officers may have done the exact opposite when they got themselves involved in a recent fatal car accident in Sylmar.

A woman died after her vehicle was hit by the two officers’ patrol car along Dyer Street and Glenoaks Boulevard.

According to reports, the woman later identified as Jovanna Lugo, 26-27 years old, from Sylmar, was just pulling out of her driveway when her vehicle was suddenly hit by the patrol car.

Authorities said the two officers were conducting a “routine” patrol when the incident occurred.

Lugo was announced dead at the accident area while the two offers only sustained minor injuries.

It can be disappointing to know that the people who should protect Lugo were the ones who may have been responsible for her death. Hopefully, authorities will be more careful while on the roads, regardless if they are on or off duty.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SF Muni Streetcar Starts Chain Accident, Injures 15 People

Well, here’s another blow to San Francisco’s Muni, one of their streetcars may have triggered a chain accident that injured 15 people yesterday morning.

The crash occurred in Market and Second Streets at about 4:40pm when an F-Market streetcar struck a 10-Townsend bus and launched it to another vehicle.

Ten people were treated on the scene for minor injuries while the other 5 were sent to nearby hospitals for non life threatening injuries.

The 15 injured people can file a personal injury lawsuit against Muni and the city.

Muni streetcars and buses are considered common carriers so even without negligence, they can still be held liable for the damages sustained by the victims.

Since they are common carriers, they are required by state law to exercise a higher level of care to ensure the safety of their passengers.

That responsibility starts once the passenger boards the vehicle until they exit the vehicle in a safe location.

In this case, it looks like they failed to keep that duty.

The injured parties can collect damages for economic damages like medical expenses and lost income, and for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.