We earlier reported on a story where a 62-year old bicyclist, Leroy Martinez, was hit by a Mazda this past Monday, February 9, 2009 while crossing the street at a crosswalk at Navajo Street and Indiana Avenue in Salt Lake City, Utah. The police had reported that the cyclist had turned around in the crosswalk unexpectedly and that the motorist was unable to stop in time. Now, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, police are saying the bicyclist didn’t turn around at all before he was struck, that he was hit by the car just as he entered the crosswalk. The impact caused Martinez to suffer a fractured skull and internal bleeding in his brain. The police are now considering charges against the driver. This detail, of course, changes everything.
As I discussed, motorists are not allowed to run over pedestrians and cyclists that are in crosswalks. With this detail, it sounds like the motorist is to blame for hitting this man as he was trying to cross the street. What’s more, it appears that he may have initially given a false story to officers investigating this since the driver was claiming that Martinez had turned around in the crosswalk.
In Utah, those entitled to make claims for a “wrongful death” include the victim’s parents, children and spouse. Usually claims are made against the insurance company of the at-fault party. In this situation, there is also some modest funeral, death coverage that the driver’s “no-fault” insurance will provide in this situation.
Published by: Ron Kramer