UCLA wide receiver Nick Pasquale was killed in a pedestrian-car crash on Sunday. Pasquale, 20, was walking in a residential neighborhood when he was struck by a car, and died at the scene, reports The Orange County Register. The driver of the vehicle was questioned, but then released. According to the Orange County Sheriff's department, there were no indicators of drug or alcohol involvement.
The sad tragedy of the former San Clemente High School graduate is an unfortunate reminder that, in car accidents, it's not only the driver, passengers, or vehicles that get hurt, but also pedestrians.
Here are some general legal and safety considerations when it comes to pedestrian-car accidents.
The Pedestrian's Duties
While it may seem like the pedestrian shouldn't be at fault in a car-pedestrian accident, even in Pasquale's home state, pedestrians have duties as well. These duties include:
- Not disobeying traffic signals, such as ignoring the "walk" signal at an intersection.
- Using the marked crosswalks
- Avoiding intentionally distracting cars by walking into the stream of traffic
- Being aware of one's surroundings and not darting in front of a car.
If a pedestrian breaches of any of these duties, or other similar duties to ordinary care, her negligence may reduce or bar her ability to recover damages.
The Driver's Duties
Of course, the driver of a car also has legal duties while operating her vehicle. Drivers must exercise reasonable care toward pedestrians and other motorists based on their particular circumstances. These common unsafe driving acts would likely be seen as breaching that duty of care:
- Being a distracted or texting driver.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians (generally, not only at marked crosswalks)
A crucial reminder for drivers: driving under the influence not only hurts you, your passengers, and your car, but it may also hurt innocent pedestrians. Remember to always have options if you're going to drink.
- Nick Pasquale Dead: UCLA Wide Receiver Dies In Car Accident (The Huffington Post)
- Find a Personal Injury Attorney in Your Area (FindLaw)
- Learn About Car Accidents in Orange County (Car Accident Lawyer - Orange County)
- Car v. Pedestrian Accidents: Who's at Fault? (FindLaw's Injured)