I read last week in the Sacramento Bee about a 16-year-old Waterford girl killed while riding a bicycle. Her parents have filed claims against the city of Waterford, Stanislaus County and the state of California.
As a San Francisco personal injury lawyer, I often have to acknowledge death as the tragic result of someone’s negligence. As a parent, however, I can only imagine how I would cope with the worst tragedy that can befall any parent–the death of a child.The child in this case, 16 year-old Ashley Henderson, died after she was struck by a pickup truck on February 12 while riding across Highway 132, also called Yosemite Boulevard, at Western Avenue. The particular intersection where the accident occurred has north and south stop signs, but no traffic signals.
This tragedy underscores something that I have to investigate on a regular basis.Sometimes there may be a combination of factors that contribute to causing a collision and injury. Roadways are often poorly maintained or not built according to a city’s own standards or plans. Sometimes poorly designed roads are a factor. In other instances, roadways which may have been safe when designed have now because of changed circumstances become unsafe roadways. Changes like increased traffic volume or changes in neighborhoods may make roads unsafe for bicycles. Accident history is important but not always the key.
In this case, the Bee reported that Waterford officials had hoped for traffic signals at this intersection, but budget concerns may have interfered with their plans.Meanwhile, Caltrans had no record of a request from the city for a traffic light at this intersection. Further investigation will be required, but in the meantime, join me in urging all motorists to be especially aware that they must share the road with bicyclists.A few seconds will not make a difference in what time you to get to your destination, but it can make all the difference by saving someone’s life.
We are not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call a reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free confidential consultation to “not at fault” persons named in this article and their family members.