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New Details Emerge About San Rafael Pedestrian Accident

Authorities have released more information about last Friday's fatal accident in San Rafael, which I blogged about earlier this week. It seems the second victim and survivor of this terrible accident is 68-year-old Mr. Guillermo Lopez-Cumez. Although he sustained serious injuries and has been in the hospital since being struck by a dump truck in downtown San Rafael, the Marin IJ reports that, fortunately, he is now in stable condition.

Apparently, the dump truck responsible for killing Olga Rodriguez of Novato and injuring Mr. Lopez-Cumez belongs to Accu-Bore Directional Drilling of Roseville. We hope that there will be no issue in this case about whether Accu-Bore assumes responsibility and admits liability.

Beyond the new information about this specific accident, the IJ has also brought to light the fact that the intersection where the accident took place (Hetherton and Third streets) has a lengthy history of collisions, 23 to be exact. And that's just since 2012. Several of those collisions resulted in injuries, and several of them involved pedestrians. There may also be an issue of dangerous intersection against the City or other public entities.

Somehow, this intersection slipped below the radar, even though it's right next to a bustling bus station where a high volume of pedestrians are to be expected at most hours of the day and night. Some might argue that this is precisely the reason why there have been so many crashes there, and leave it at that. But I'm not buying it. How has no one thought to improve this intersection? The city of San Rafael built this beautiful transit center years ago, but the design apparently did not address whether the transit center could be safely accessible on foot? Surely, it's time to reconsider that issue.

I pass this intersection almost every day on my way into my San Francisco law office, and I can tell you that there isn't a whole lot there in terms of extra pedestrian safety measures. Not only is the intersection close to the bus station, but it's also close to the freeway, which means vehicles are whipping around corners left and right. No matter what, it is not an ideal place to be crossing the street.

Please do not misconstrue my comments to suggest that this unsafe intersection means that the dump truck was not at fault here-perhaps both issues were at play. And in the case of a tragedy like this one, it is of the utmost importance that all possible contributing factors are adequately considered.

There's no way to undo what has been done here, but as a San Francisco accident attorney, I know there are ways to help prevent it from happening in the future. One of the byproducts of litigation and law suits is that dangerous conditions are many times corrected. Let's hope that occurs here.

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