An illegal street race may be responsible for the death of a pedestrian in East San Jose, California.
According to ABC News (1.27.15), two vehicles, a silver BMW and a silver Nissan, were travelling at a high rate of speed when their drivers lost control lost control of them. The two cars hit a guardrail and both ended up on the sidewalk. A pedestrian was pinned against a tree, where she suffered fatal injuries. At least one vehicle had struck Kiran Pabla , 24, the pedestrian who died.
The drivers of two cars thought to have been racing were arrested and accused of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving following the fatal collision. The drivers were identified as Gabriel Bacerra, 19, and Manual Maldonado-Avalos, 24.
The San Jose Police Department reported that San Jose historically has a high percentage of auto/pedestrian fatal collisions. Twenty-one pedestrians in total were killed in 2013. In a high number of these cases, the pedestrian was crossing mid-block or jaywalking rather than crossing the street at an intersection where traffic signals or other control devices were present. Most of the accidents occurred at night. The inattention of pedestrians was reported to be “a very prevalent factor when examining these accidents.”
A pedestrian killed by street racers is rarely to never at fault. Street racing is illegal, dangerous and a threat to the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Statistics on street racing accidents are hard to find. As noted in a 2012 article in USA Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had changed the way it tracked street racing deaths in 2009. A crash is considered “racing involved” only if police charge at least one driver with racing. NHTSA data showed that 153 people died in 122 racing-related collisions that occurred between 2001 and 2010. Previously, the agency used a broader definition that included all crashes where investigators concluded that racing was involved. In racing incidents from 2001 to 2008, 1,047 people died.
Street racing is a factor in only a small percentage of fatal car accidents. However, like all fatal accidents, racing related car accidents can change the lives of many people in an instant. Street racing deaths are extra tragic since they are completely avoidable. Street racing crashes stem from the actions of others behaving negligently and irresponsibly. Accidents are an unfortunate reality. A wrongful death claim may involve pursuing compensation for economic and non-economic losses. Compensation typically includes reimbursement for funeral expenses, any medical expenses and the loss of future income.