There have been a lot of fatal car accidents in San Diego County recently. In fact, over the holidays there were more auto accident-related deaths than in years past. Many of the accidents were caused by alcohol use, but the accidents that jump off the news pages are those that occur for “unknown reasons.”
For example, about a week ago in Fallbrook a 42-year-old woman named Stormi Lou Arreola was killed, and her child passengers injured, when she crossed the center divider on northbound Mission Road and struck a elderly man driving a Mazda sedan. The accident occurred midday, and, according to news reports was not alcohol related.
Yesterday, a bicyclist – riding in the bike lane – was struck and killed in Sabre Springs on Sabre Springs Parkway when a man driving a BMW veered into the bike lane and hit the cyclist. The victim was identified as 55-year-old Walter Carl Joller, whose was severed in the crash. He died at the scene. Police said they don’t believe alcohol played a role in the accident, which occurred around 7 p.m.
There are, of course, many reasons why car accidents occur, but when the cars veer or drift out of their lane, and alcohol or drugs are not involved, it’s impossible not to think that cell phone use was a contributing factor. This is quickly becoming the primary culprit in the train accident in Los Angeles, and is no doubt the cause of many car accidents. Personal injury lawyers who represent the victims of these accidents can subpoena the phone records of negligent drivers to prove that at, or around, the time of the accident the driver was using the phone instead of watching the road.
UPDATE: This morning the North County Times had a thorough article about Mr. Joller, who was a retired Navy captain, and who regularly commuted by bicycle to his job at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in Point Loma. He wore reflective gear and a helmet when he rode, and was known to be an experienced cyclist. The police are now stating that the negligent driver who struck Mr. Joller was simply “inattentive” at the time of the accident, and that he may face vehicular manslaughter charges. The family said donations may be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in lieu of flowers.
The San Diego personal injury lawyers at Walton Law Firm LLP represent individuals and families who have been impacted by auto, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents, including claims for wrongful death.