Friday, February 19, 2010

Bicyclist Killed in Hit and Run Accident by Driver Using a Cellphone

A 40-year old bicyclist and father of five children was recently killed in a hit and run accident by a distracted driver.

The bicyclist, Ovidio Morales was reportedly struck by a silver or gray 1990s Ford passenger van near South Dwight Avenue and West Compton Boulevard. Witnesses claim that the driver ran a red light while talking on his cellphone.

When the driver allegedly struck Morales, he backed up, checked on the fallen bicyclist before speeding away from the scene. The accident was also caught on a surveillance video.

Compton firefighters tried to save Morales but he died from his car crash injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2009, distracted driving resulted to nearly 6,000 fatalities and 515,000 injuries. One out of 20 motor vehicle crashes were linked to cell phone use.

Studies have also shown that distracted driving is dangerous and should not be taken likely, drivers who talk on cell phones are four times more likely to crash while drivers who text are 23 times more likely to crash.

But unfortunately, these distracted drivers are just as much as a danger to the public as they are to themselves. However, despite the presence of state laws that ban the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle, a lot of drivers continue to text or talk on the cellphone while driving.

Naturally, the result of blatant disregard of laws against texting and talking while driving has resulted to numerous crashes some of which ended in fatalities.

Had the hit and run driver who killed Morales followed the law, the father of 5 will likely still be alive today.

If the driver is found and arrested, aside from facing criminal charges, the family of the deceased may also file a case of wrongful death against him.

A wrongful death claim arises from damages incurred by the victim’s decedents after the victim is killed because of negligence or other acts or omissions committed by the defendant.