SAN DIEGO NEWS 6 reported that 54-year-old David Bruce Menea was killed on September 11, 2010 while crossing the street on his bicycle. The bicycle/auto accident happened at around 8:50 p.m. when Mr. Menea was allegedly illegally crossing Main Street near Kalbaugh Street in Ramona and was hit by a Toyota 4Runner being driven by a suspected drunk driver. According to the CHP, the truck then swerved striking a stop sign, jumped an embankment, hit a parked car, and pushing it into a liquor store. Two occupants in the car and another in the store were injured. The CHP reported that 32-year-old Susan Reed the driver of the SUV was taken to Palomar Hospital, and then arrested on unspecified charges.
Our sympathy goes out to the Menea family and friends.
Applicable California Law
The driver of the SUV would be liable for any property that was damaged and injuries to anyone involved in the accident. In addition, if found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident, she will also face criminal charges (see my prior Blog posts regarding the law on driving under the influence). California vehicle Code 21200 gives the same rights and imposes the same duties on bicyclists as any other person operating a vehicle on the road. If the accusations that Mr. Menea was illegally crossing Main Street are accurate and his conduct contributed to causing his own death, then any claims by his heirs for wrongful death, or any “survivor action” would be reduced proportionately (see my prior Blog post for the law on wrongful death and “survivor actions”). As to the others who sustained physical injuries they would have potential claims for bodily injury including medical expenses, lost earnings and earning capacity, and compensation for pain and suffering against all parties found at fault for the accident.
A quiet Saturday Night turns into tragedy. Bicycle accidents and auto accidents can result in death or serious injuries that can change the lives of the injured and their families. Getting advice from a experienced personal injury attorney can help reduce the stress and worries associated with life changing events.