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Charles Donovan, 73, Unable to Avoid Pedestrian in Fatal Hwy 101 Crash

Salinas, CA – According to KION, on the evening of Sunday, March 3, 2024, a pedestrian was killed on Highway 101 by a driver identified as 73-year-old Oakland man Charles Donovan, who attempted unsuccessfully to avoid hitting them.

The victim walked into the number one lane of southbound 101 south of Boronda Road around 10:50 PM, entering the path of Donovan, who was driving a black Volvo followed by another driver in a light-colored vehicle.

While Donovan attempted to swerve away from the pedestrian, he could not avoid the collision, striking the pedestrian and then being struck by the vehicle behind him.

The second driver fled the scene, but Donovan stayed with the pedestrian, who was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency services arrived. Donovan himself did not sustain any injuries.

Wrongful Death Claims

Establishing fault in a collision can depend on multiple factors. Helping to determine legal liability is one of the ways that a personal injury attorney can help grieving families recovering from the loss of a loved one in a traffic accident.

If it is determined that another driver holds responsibility for their loved one’s death, they may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. A wrongful death claim can provide compensation to help cover hospital fees, burial costs, and the loss of support for dependents of the deceased.

Duty of Care

Cyclists and pedestrians are owed a “duty of care” from drivers wherever they meet. Motorists are legally obligated to monitor the roads ahead, and all mirrors and blind spots, for any rider who may be nearby. Drivers must hit the brakes to avoid any chance of a collision. This legal responsibility stems from the fact that cyclists and pedestrians travel with less protection alongside heavier and faster cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Drivers must also stop once a collision has occurred to get medical attention for a cyclist or pedestrian as fast as possible. Remaining on the scene, turning on hazard lights, and blocking off traffic also reduce the chances of the victim being struck by approaching motorists who may not be able to see an injured cyclist down in the street.

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