Crossing Guard Was Struck and Killed By Car Jumping Curb
In Monterey Park a crossing guard was struck and killed by a teenaged driver on Tuesday afternoon. According to KTLA News, the accident happened at the intersection of Garfield and Elmgate avenues at about 3:40 p.m. The victim, Abel Flores Castellanos, was working at his job as a crossing guard and was seated in a folding chair when the driver apparently lost control of his car, jumping the curb and fatally injuring Castellanos. The 19-year-old driver, Jin Yuan Yang, sustained only minor injuries, but his passenger (Yang’s 53-year-old mother) suffered major injuries and was taken to Garfield Medical Center. The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the circumstances and why Yang lost control of his car. There was some indication in the news story that Yang may have been trying to avoid another car (a “phantom vehicle”) when he swerved onto the sidewalk.
Determining Fault in a “Phantom Vehicle” Case
Not too uncommonly a driver will react to the movements of another vehicle on the road and end up hitting a third, innocent driver or pedestrian. When the “phantom” vehicle does not actually collide with any other vehicle involved in the accident and leaves the scene, blame could still be found against the phantom driver, if his actions were negligent. As you might imagine, proving the negligence of a driver who cannot be identified and without any physical evidence can be very difficult. Assuming the phantom vehicle is the cause of a collision, the victim’s uninsured motorist coverage in their automobile insurance policy (if they have such coverage) may provide compensation if there was some physical contact between the unidentified driver and one of the parties involved in the accident. California insurance law also requires that the police be notified of the accident within 24 hours, and the insurance carrier for the victim must be told within 30 days.