NBC San Diego News reporters Michael Gehlken and Steve Luke reported that an unnamed Hispanic man in his 50s was killed while riding his bicycle in Lomita on March 6, 2011. The accident happened at around 7:30 a.m. on Skyline Dr. when a van traveling westbound, driven by an unnamed 47-year old female driver, veered to the right and struck the bicyclist who was traveling on the right side of the road.
Darryl Hoover, field lieutenant with the San Diego Police Department stated that “At this time, investigators are trying to determine why the driver, who at this point has been considered the primary cause, veered to the right and struck the bicyclist.” “The bicyclist went through the driver’s side window of the van and then was launched, and came to rest on the sidewalk.” A nearby resident Isabel Huerta said the auto accident sent the victim flying off the van’s windshield in front of her friend’s house. “She was just really terrified because the body was right in front of her house, and she could see the bike torn into pieces, and shoes and his hat all over the place,” Huerta stated.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the friends and family of the bicyclist.
Applicable California Law
California vehicle Code 21658 requires the driver of a vehicle to stay within a marked lane and not move from the lane unless it is reasonably safe to do so. The fact that the driver of the van veered to the right and struck the bicyclist would result in liability for his wrongful death. Thus, the bicyclist’s heirs would have claims for wrongful death (see my prior Blog post on California Wrongful Death Law). Bicyclists have to follow the same rules and regulations as any other vehicle on the road (see my prior Blog post on California’s Bike Laws), there are no facts that would indicate the bicyclist contributed to causing his own death, which would reduce the value of any claims.
Bicyclists are less visible and have less protection then other vehicles on the road. This is why bicycle accidents frequently result in serious brain injuries, spine injuries, or wrongful death. Complicated injuries or the loss of a loved one requires the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.