Orange County Register Alejandra Molina reported that Ruben Chavez, a 31-year-old truck driver from Tijuana was struck and killed on September 27, 2011. The fatal auto accident happened at around 6 a.m. on Interstate-5 near the Avenida Vista Hermosa exit. According to CHP officer Chris Goodwin, Chavez pulled to the side of the road due to mechanical problems with his truck. Chavez exited his truck and was standing on its left side when an unnamed 64-year-old San Diego man in a BMW traveling in the No. 4 lane drifted onto the right shoulder and sideswiped the truck and hit Chavez, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident is still under investigation.
Our condolences go out to the Chavez family and friends.
Applicable California Law
California Vehicle Code 22107 prohibits the movement of a vehicle from a direct course unless it can be done safely. The driver of the BMW will face civil claims for the wrongful death of Mr. Chavez (see my prior Blog post San Diego Woman Killed by Auto Accident Debris for California law on wrongful death claims and damages). It is not clear if Rubin was working for an U.S. or a Mexico-based company, which would impact potential workers compensation claims by his heirs since he was killed while on the job (see my prior Blog post San Diego EMT Fatally Injured In Multi Vehicle Auto Accident for wrongful death claims involving workers comp).
Whenever someone pulls off to the shoulder or side of the road they should take proper precautions, to warn other motorists and for their own safety. Auto accidents and truck accidents involving pedestrians usually result in serious injuries or wrongful death. Exploring all of your options by conferring with an experienced personal injury attorney before taking any action is key to getting justice.