A lawsuit was filed in June stemming from a fatal bicycle accident that occurred on May 31, 2011 near San Diego, according to Fox News in San Diego. A sport utility vehicle lost control and veered off State Route 56 in Rancho Peñasquitos and onto a bike path, killing 40-year-old cyclist Nick Ventuo, and injuring a second, Baron Herdelin-Doherty.
Accident investigators determined the crash to be an accident and did not cite the driver. Ventuo’s family and Herdelin-Doherty have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the city, San Diego County, the State of California and the driver of the SUV, claiming both the road and bike path are unsafe for cyclists and motorists. Only a chain link fence provided a barrier between the car and the path, and the suit claims a more substantial barrier was necessary. The distance between the path and the street (40 feet) met the legal requirement, but the suit claims the defendants were negligent because of the lack of a barrier.
A chain link fence provides minimal protection at best for cyclists. Is it intended to protect cars from veering on the bike path, or serve another purpose? There is little a fence can do to stop a car, much less a large SUV. The city, county and state will have some questions to answer here. If you or a loved one are injured in a bike or car accident, contact an experienced attorney to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego personal injury attorney.