Crosswalks are designed to protect pedestrians from oncoming traffic so they can cross the street. However, they are only effective if drivers pay attention and yield to them appropriately. Sadly, one California mother is dead and her child suffered minor injuries after they were hit in a crosswalk by a tractor-trailer as they were walking to school. The incident occurred on the morning of Feb. 11 in Los Angeles.

According to reports, the semi was traveling southbound on North Bronson Avenue in Hollywood when it struck the two pedestrians at approximately 7:48 a.m. The mother was rushed to a nearby hospital, but she died from her injuries. Her 9-year-old daughter was also taken to a hospital, but she is expected to recover.

The truck driver stayed on the scene and cooperated with police. He purportedly told a witness that the woman stepped out in the crosswalk in front him. However, many parents and residents in the neighborhood have stated that vehicles often speed through the school zone where the accident occurred.

The driver has not been cited; however, investigators have yet to determine the cause of the accident. Should they determine that the woman was hit in a crosswalk because of the driver’s negligence, her loved ones may be able to pursue a wrongful death action against him. In California, the success of such a claim is often dependent upon evidence that the death was caused by someone else. If successful, the family may be awarded compensation to help them with any financial hardships they encountered as a result of their loved one’s death. Additionally, it may give them a sense of closure as they deal with their grief.

Source: ABC 7, Semi hits mother, child walking in crosswalk in Hollywood, Hanna Chu and Melissa MacBride, Feb. 11, 2014