At some time near midnight on Friday August 20th, 85-year-old Sunny Poate was crossing Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa when the driver of an SUV fatally struck her. While there were no markings indicating a crosswalk, police said the elderly woman was legally crossing the eight-lane boulevard: at that particular location, Date Place and Harbor Boulevard form a T-intersection where pedestrians are allowed to cross as long as they do not interfere with traffic. The driver of the SUV claimed not to have seen the elderly woman crossing, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Multiple-lane boulevards and highways pose a serious threat to crossing pedestrians, according to an Orange County accident attorney. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,784 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2006 and 61,000 were injured. The likelihood of a pedestrian accident increases with the number of lanes the roadway has.
Raising medians in multi-lane roadways, improving lighting for nighttime crossing, and illuminating the cross walk with yellow lights that flash during designated crossing times are just some techniques for increasing pedestrian safety in cross walks.
We would like to offer our condolences to the family of Sunny Poate. They will be in our thoughts and prayers. If they, or anyone who has recently lost a loved one in an accident, have questions regarding their rights and options, an Orange County accident attorney is available to speak with them any time at no charge: 866-981-5596.