According to the California Highway Patrol an 18-year-old man driving from Paso Robles struck two bicyclists on Nov. 28 around 3 p.m. The accident occurred when the driver of a GMC Yukon reached down to the floorboard to recover his cell phone that had fallen off his lap when the car in front of him stopped. The man told authorities that he attempted to swerve in order to avoid a collision with the vehicle in front of him, but in doing so, he struck the cyclists.
The incident occurred near the Adelaida Road and Nacimiento Lake Drive intersection. The woman passed away after the accident. Police have not yet released her identity to the public. The other bicyclist, a 59-year-old man, was severely wounded. Both victims were from Seal Beach.
In a situation like this, a personal injury lawyer may be able to establish that negligence was a contributing factor to the accident in an effort to hold the driver responsible for pain and suffering and to recover medical bill expenses for the families of the victims. If a circumstance such as reckless driving can be established, a lawyer might be able to prove that a wrongful death occurred or that the driver should be held responsible for the injured party's expenses.
In this case, since the driver was attempting to recover his cell phone at the time of the accident it is possible that he was a distracted driver. A lawyer might use information such as completed police reports, local laws about the use of cell phones while driving or eyewitness accounts to endeavor to hold any responsible parties at fault. Whenever a car accident such as this one happens it may be likely that an outside factor such as debris on the road or an individual is at fault.
Source: KSBY, "Cyclist and driver identified in fatal crash near Paso Robles", Olivia DeGennaro, November 29, 2014