On the morning of Saturday, June 18, the body of a 65- year old woman was found in a ditch in the Elverta area near Gibson Ranch, California. Police later identified the body as that of Donna Zurfluh, who was walking on the south side of Elverta Road between 2am and 6am when she suffered a hit-and-run collision. The stretch of road she was walking did not have a pedestrian path, and was dark when she was killed. The speed of the vehicle and cause of the collision have not yet been determined. Ms. Zurfluh served her community by teaching adults with special needs and running a recovery program for people struggling with substance abuse – we extend our sincere condolences to Ms. Zurfluh’s family and community who are undoubtedly feeling the pain of loss in her absence.
Pedestrian Injury Statistics
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most pedestrian deaths occur between 4pm and midnight during weekdays, while most weekend fatalities occur between 8pm and 4am. Males seem more likely to suffer fatalities as pedestrians, with 70% of pedestrian fatalities in 2011 being male. Roughly one-fifth of children 10 to 15 years old killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians, with roughly the same figure holding true for those 65 and older. 62% of those involved in pedestrian fatalities were adults ranging from the ages of 21 and 64. Alcohol seems to be a significant factor in these pedestrian fatalities, with 37% of pedestrians killed in 2011 having BACs of .08 g/dL or higher at the time of the accident.
Victim’s Legal Rights
In addition to criminal sanctions for fleeing the scene of accident, drivers can be subject to civil penalties for causing harm by breaching their ordinary duty of care. In situations involving automobiles, drivers owe a heightened duty of care due to the dangerous nature of high-speed automobiles. If you, or a loved one, suffered injuries in an automobile accident, and you believe the driver failed to act with ordinary care, call an attorney to receive the help you need and deserve.