It’s hard not to come across as trite, but the fact remains that automobile-related accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. And while caution is always a good defense, few drivers can be vigilant 100-percent of the time. It never fails to happen that when a motorist lets his or her guard down for just a moment, a roadway accident can be just around the corner.
Whether one drives to work or school every day, or just takes the family car to the supermarket once a week, as soon as we hit the road the odds begin to mount up. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my colleagues know that for many people it is simply a matter of time before someone is involved in a injury-related road accident. Hopefully that is all; however, fatal car and commercial truck crashes are all part of the mix.
Occupants of passenger cars, SUVs and minivans are certainly more protected when compared to a motorcyclist involved in a traffic collision, but pedestrians and bicycle riders are part of the most vulnerable group when it comes to car accidents. Not only are people on foot or cycling not protected by a steel cage, but if and when they hit the ground, they are more likely to strike their head on a hard surface, like an asphalt roadway or concrete sidewalk.
A little while back, a Home Depot parking lot in Prince George’s County was the scene of a fatal pedestrian accident. According to news reports, the six people were hit by a single car in a Hyattsville, MD, Home Depot parking area. Based on police reports, it was closing time at the store located on East-West Highway when an elderly man arrived in his vehicle. Realizing that the store was already closed, he decided to leave; but at that same moment, the 79-year-old driver had what police call a medical emergency and lost control of his car.
As the vehicle went out of control, drove up and over an island section of the parking lot, hitting six individuals standing there. According to reports, one of the people injured by the vehicle was taken to a local hospital; unfortunately, that individual, 41-year-old Fredys Castillo-Giron, died not long after being admitted. Four other pedestrians were also hospitalized and listed in critical condition at the time of the news report.
At the time of the article, there was no mention of whether the driver of the car survived the crash or not. In these types of accidents, although the likely low-speed nature of the incident may not have hurt a younger person wearing a seatbelt, an elderly driver could conceivably sustain certain injuries that could prove immediately fatal or potentially life-threatening down the road.
Based on the reports coming from news agencies, police accident investigators were still considering the factors in the fatal crash. Sadly, this type of accident is difficult to avoid when circumstances conspire to cause such a deadly collision. It goes without saying that any time pedestrians mix with vehicular traffic, there is a potential for injury. The best advice is to remain vigilant when walking through a parking lot and be prepared for the unexpected.
Update: One Pedestrian Dead after Home Depot Parking Lot Crash, Patch.com, November 24, 2011
Hyattsville Home Depot accident: Six hit by car in parking lot, WJLA.com, November 24, 2011