San Diego News 6 reported that Mira Mesa resident Albert Holman, 34, was fatally injured while returning home from his birthday celebration on October 25, 2010. The fatal car accident occurred on the State Route 56, near Black Mountain Road exit. Holman had been celebrating his 34th birthday with friends at an Irish Pub in Carmel Mountain, and decided to walk home instead of driving because he had been drinking. Holman was discovered on the side of the road early the following morning. Police subsequently impounded a Nissan Sentra thought to have been involved in the wrongful death accident from a home in Rancho Penasquitos. The vehicle had damage consistent with having been involved in the incident, as well as a shoe believed to belong to the victim waged underneath it. The vehicle’s owner, Nicole Koval, 23, a nursing student at Cal State San Marcos, accompanied by her attorney, turned herself in to authorities. Friends of the victim said that Koval and Holman had met before at the Carmel Mountain TGI Fridays where she worked as a server. CHP officer Art Athans said that Koval’s vehicle was believed to be the first of two vehicles that hit the victim, and that she could face criminal charges, after they finish their investigation.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Holman family and friends.
Applicable California Law
Koval could faces potential criminal charges for felony hit and run for leaving the scene of an accident, which resulted in injury or death (see my prior Blog post San Diego Hit-And-Run Auto Accident Causes Severe Brain Injury on California Hit And Run law). In addition, she would be liable for the wrongful death of the victim (see my prior Blog post Escondido Auto Accident Fatally Injures Man In Wheelchair on California wrongful law). However, it is not clear whether the alleged second vehicle caused, or contributed to the victim’s death, which could affect Koval’s liability proportionately. In addition, the circumstances as to why the victim was walking along the freeway are unknown, if his own conduct contributed to his death, it could reduce the value of any potential claims. Another crucial issue is do the responsible parties have adequate insurance coverage or other assets to adequately cover any claims? Does the victim have sufficient uninsured/under insured coverage of his own if the responsible parties are uninsured or underinsured?
A birthday celebration ends in a tragic wrongful death. Pedestrians are at great risk of being the victims of auto accidents, truck accidents, or bus accidents resulting in serious injury or wrongful death. A thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances of an accident are one of the many benefits of talking to an experienced personal injury attorney.