Any motor vehicle accident can be devastating; but when the accident happens because a driver was reckless or careless behind the wheel, it can be even more upsetting to realize that it didn't have to happen. Too many drivers fail to take seriously their responsibility to drive safely and attentively, and they end up potentially ruining the lives of victims and their families.
That appears to be the case in a recent accident that took the life of a 65-year-old man. He was riding his bicycle outside of Los Angeles in Calabasas when he was struck by a vehicle being driven by a sheriff's deputy. As part of an investigation into the accident, a search warrant was issued for the driver's cellphone and it appears as though he may have been distracted by texting at the time of the accident.
The phone records indicated that the officer sent six text messages in a span of less than five minutes, which is also when the accident occurred.
Investigators also spoke with witnesses to the crash who say that the officer's vehicle never slowed down, and no brake lights were active until after the car hit the biker. This would indicate that the driver was not paying attention and did not see the biker. Witnesses also stated that the car drifted into the bike lane instead of following the road as it curved to the left.
Based on these findings, the family of the man is taking legal action against Los Angeles County and has announced a wrongful death lawsuit filing.
Of course there is nothing that can be done to bring back the victim or truly compensate his family for their loss. However, by holding the appropriate parties accountable and pursuing damages, families can get some closure and support during such a devastating time.
Source: Los Angeles Daily News, "Former Napster executive's family to sue Los Angeles County for fatal crash," July 15, 2014