On February 17th, 2023, a deadly accident happened on the eastbound Interstate 210 Freeway at Hubbard Street in Sylmar, CA. According to a California Highway Patrol dispatch, a semi-truck hit a pedestrian and a Dodge Ram truck hit the person again. It’s possible that other vehicles could have been involved as well.
Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Fire Department arrived to the scene and announced the victim as dead. Why the pedestrian was on the freeway is still currently unknown. Traffic was redirected off the freeway and onto Hubbard Street as authorities cleaned and investigated the incident. Police are currently investigating the accident to determine precisely what happened and what parties are at fault.
While it’s not common to see pedestrians on a freeway or highway, sometimes these situations do happen and they can lead to an accident. Determining who’s at fault, however, can be a very challenging and complex situation. Walking on a freeway or highway is illegal and Los Angeles and surrounding areas have been ramping up measures to prevent pedestrian crossings. However, pedestrians are still walking on or near freeways and there can be several reasons why:
- Vehicle troubles: An issue like a person’s car stopping working or them running out of gas can force a pedestrian to get out of their vehicle. Ideally, they should be able to call someone for assistance or a driver could stop and assist the pedestrian. However, sometimes a pedestrian may, out of desperation, start walking. Furthermore, there’s the chance that a vehicle could stop in the middle of the freeway versus off to the side.
- Walking after dark: In the situation where a pedestrian runs out of gas, they may decide to walk to a gas station, especially if it’s close by. However, doing so may require crossing a highway or interstate to enter an exit. This can be dangerous any part of the day, but especially becomes more dangerous at night.
- Helping accident victims: An injured pedestrian can be across or in the middle of the freeway, prompting a driver to cross in order to help them.
Would the Driver Be At Fault?
While a driver suddenly seeing a pedestrian on the freeway shouldn’t be a problem they need to deal with, this issue can happen. In many situations, it’s still the driver’s responsibility to avoid hitting a pedestrian and it’s possible they could be held liable for damages. However, whether or not they could be held liable can depend on the situation itself.
For example, a driver that hits a pedestrian in the middle of the day while engaging in distracted driving is a much different scenario than a driver hitting a pedestrian because they didn’t see them due to it being night time. Whether you’re a pedestrian involved in an incident or the driver themselves, it’s crucial to call a Sylmar, CA car accident lawyer by reaching out to our Barry P. Goldberg team where our passionate attorneys can help guide you through the legal process.