Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents


A Caltrans worker working near trolley lines in National City died today after being struck by the trolley just north of the 24th Street stop. Stephen Palmer, 64, of Jamul was pronounced dead at UCSD Medical Center where he was taken after the accident. He suffered a major head injury.

According to reports, Palmer, who work for the Caltrans Imperial Landscape Crew, tried to get out of the way of the fast moving trolley, but it was too late. Authorities told the media that the driver said he saw Palmer and honked the trolley horn, but a comment by an alleged passenger on the website said that that he never heard a horn.

“We are still sifting through the details of what took place, and dealing with the shock of suddenly losing a member of our Caltrans Family,” said Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman. “Our hearts are with Stephen’s family and friends and the employees who worked with him. It is such a tragic loss.”


Six pedestrians were critically injured, and nearly 20 more hurt, when a taxi driver drove his cab onto a curb and plowed into a crowd leaving a night club in the Gaslamp District. The force of impact amputated one woman’s leg below the knee.

According to reports, the Emerald Taxi cab was heading south on Sixth Street around 2 a.m. when it suddenly, and for no apparent reason, veered onto the sidewalk and into the crowd. The taxi came to a rest near the front doors of the Stingaree club on the corner of Sixth and Jarvis. People in the crowd attacked the driver, who suffered a broken nose and was also hospitalized.

Police aren’t sure what caused the driver to veer into the crowd, but early indications are that it may have been intentional. Police said alcohol was not likely a factor, but one witness said that the driver “seemed to be out of it.”

A customer in a San Marcos 7-Eleven suffered serious injuries when a car driven by Teresa Petersen drove over the sidewalk, through the plate glass window of the storefront, and all the way through until it hit the back wall. She was going so fast that the rear masonry wall was damaged.

Carlos Gradilla, 31, was shipping in the store at the time and was hit by the car. Gradilla was seriously injured, and was taken to Palomar Hospital for what was suspected to be a skull fracture and internal injuries.

Authorities are unclear what caused the accident, and it didn’t appear that Petersen was under the influence.

A woman who became pinned between two cars in a Clairemont Mesa shopping center parking lot suffered serious internal injuries. The accident occurred at the 3500 block of Ashford Street on November 4th when the 65-year-old driver of a PT Cruiser accelerated when her car was in accidentially in reverse, not drive, and slammed into the 67-year-old victim.

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Joel Miranda of Santa Ana will spend at least 10 years behind bars for his role in the death of Francisco Aquino, who was walking as a pedestrian when he was fatally struck by Miranda’s car. According the news reports, Miranda was driving a truck during the early evening of February 1, 2009 when he was struck by a Mercedes Benz that pushed him into the pedestrian Aquino. Aquino later died at an Orange County hospital.

Miranda.jpg After the accident, Miranda fled the scene. He was later arrested at his apartment, where authorities found that his blood alcohol level was .23 over an hour after the accident. He was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter. But remarkably, this wasn’t the first time Miranda had been busted for driving under the influence. It wasn’t even his second or third time. This man had prior convictions for drunk driving in 1995, 1997, and 2004, and never served more than a week in jail.

His defense attorney argued that the accident, and the death of Aquino, wasn’t the fault of Miranda, but by the driver of the Mercedes Benz, who started the fatal chain of events. The jury of eight women and four men didn’t buy it, and convicted Miranda after about seven hours of deliberation.

A Del Mar man was struck and killed Friday while trying to cross Centre City Parkway with a group of people. Escondido police said that 29-year-old Wesley Askins III died when he was struck at about 10:25 p.m. near the cross-street of Brotherton Road. Askins was thrown several yards by the collision, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The southbound driver who struck pulled over at the scene and cooperated with police officers. Police are reporting that the driver did not appear to be under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.


Anyone with information about the accident is encouraged to call Officer Mike Nelson at (760) 839-4407.

It appears a lawsuit will be filed against Tiffany St. Ives, a woman currently facing criminal charges of striking 17-year-old Marlene Resendiz as she tried to cross Escondido Street in Escondido, then driving away and attempting to cover up the crime. (Here’s a link to some original coverage.) As you may recall, St. Ives hit Resendiz (who was about to be married), then went to great lengths to cover up the accident, including cleaning her car with bleach, repainting, and trying to sell it in Mexico. Luckily, a friend with a conscience turned her in.

Resendiz’s cousin told 10News, “It’s disgusting, cruel and horrible. She took much from our family that she needs to be held accountable for her actions.” Now the family is rightfully filing a wrongful death lawsuit against St. Ives, who operated a sanctuary for farm animals at the time of her arrest, and who was allegedly “on the job” at the time of the accident.

The family’s attorney Dan Gilleon told 10News, “It was such a heartless act on so many levels. The message that needs to be sent is if you commit a crime like this and go to great lengths to cover it up, you should spend the rest of your life paying back the family you’ve harmed so much.”


In the last year, San Diego has had a series of accidents involving elderly drivers, several of them fatal. (See an earlier blog entry). It has happened again, yesterday in the parking lot of the Bay Ho Costco on Morena Boulevard.

According to reports, an 86-year-old driver was pulling his Cadillac Coupe de Ville out of a parking spot when he apparently saw the pedestrian behind. He tried to stop his car, but accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake, and the car sped backwards, striking an SUV with solid force. A 40-year-old man who was loading plants into his car was hit and run over, and the victim’s two children, who were sitting in the car, were thrown out an open door.

Incredibly, the old man was still unable to stop his car, which, after careening off the SUV, drove over a small wall, through a fence, and into a nearby building. Witnesses say the car just kept accelerating in reverse. Truly a tragedy.

It is being reported that a Fallbrook school bus struck a man in the 1700 block of Reche Road killing him. According to news reports, the man was “drawing on the road with chalk” when the bus hit him and knocked him into a Ford Explorer. The accident occurred in front of Potter Junior High School.

The driver of the 25-seat bus, Gabriel Perez, told SHP that the pedestrian looked up but did not move out of the way in time. It is not clear what the man was doing in the middle of the road.


Local news coverage of this story can be found by clicking here, here, and here.

The North County Times is out today with an article on highway work zone safety. The good news is that the number of accidents and injuries is down. The bad news is that doing road work is still a very dangerous way to earn a living.

Nick Nusser is a contractor from Atkinson Construction, and is one of many workers who make their living working on the side of the highway while cars race by. His “office is the freeway,” which, he says, makes him keep his “head on a swivel.” The only thing keeping him safe from careless drivers is a low concrete divider and an orange vest.

Despite the obvious dangers of working on the highway – which have no doubt increased with the advent of texting – the number of car accidents in work zones has actually declined over the last decade. The number of crashes statewide has declined from 6,901 in 1998 to 4,374 in 2008. Injuries and fatalities have also declined dramatically.

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