Shortly after 3 a.m. on Wednesday, August 19, pedestrian Javier Acevedo was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Visalia. According to the California Highway Patrol, his car had become disabled on Highway 198 near 7th Avenue. While walking back to Hanford for help, he was struck by a 1997 Toyota Corolla. The driver, 38-year-old Bounmee Vongpanya, fled the scene of the accident, leaving the vehicle in the 4200 block of Willow Avenue. When Vongpanya and two family members attempted to report the vehicle stolen, an investigation was conducted and it was determined that he was the hit-and-run driver responsible for Acevedo’s death. Authorities arrested them on suspicion of insurance fraud; in addition, Vongpanya faces charges for felony hit-and-run.
“When police apprehend a hit-and-run driver who has caused a fatal accident, the family of the victim may hold the driver civilly liable for their loss by filing a wrongful death claim,” explained California personal injury lawyer James Ballidis.
In 2010, traffic accidents claimed the lives of or caused injury to 48 pedestrians in Visalia, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. The OTS compares the incidence of fatal and injury accidents in cities with similarly sized populations. Those with the poorest records receive the highest rankings, with first place considered the worst. That year, Visalia ranked 9th out of 53 cities for pedestrian safety.
All of us at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer our condolences to the family of Javier Acevedo, the pedestrian who was killed by the hit-and-run driver.
Additional information on the injury and the wrongful death claims process is available to the public free of charge through our office.
To request one of these free resources, or to speak with a California personal injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.