Drivers in California, like elsewhere in the country, are legally required to exercise due care whenever they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Violations of that responsibility by failing to drive safely often lead to car accidents, one of the most common causes of injury and death across the country. If people are injured or killed, a driver who causes a crash is likely to face severe criminal and civil legal consequences.
A recent accident in Upland may lead to legal action following the hit-and-run death of an 11-year-old boy who was walking to school. According to the Upland Police Department, the boy was walking in a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Benson Avenue and Arrow Highway around 8:00 a.m. when he was struck by a white Jeep Cherokee. The driver is alleged to have fled the scene. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital, but was declared dead.
A man who saw news reports about the vehicle recognized it as the SUV he had rented for his son. After the son told police that he had loaned the vehicle to a friend, officers were able to find the suspect and arrest him. The alleged hit-and-run driver, a 25-year-old male, was on his way to a medical appointment at the hospital where the victim was later taken. Police have not said whether the man ran a red light at the intersection. In another irony, the suspect lived in the same apartment complex as the victim.
As surviving family members grieve for their loss, they will closely follow any criminal case against the alleged driver and may also look at possible civil court action, such as a wrongful death lawsuit.
Source: Cbslocal.com, "Man in custody in death of upland boy, 11 killed in hit-and-run crash as he walked to school," Oct. 21, 2014