Seattle fitness buffs may want to take note of a disturbing recent incident that led to the death of a jogger in Olympia. According to reports, a 59 year old man was fatally struck by a Jeep while crossing an intersection during an early morning jog. Despite the fact that some of the people who rushed to help the man were nurses, he died at the location of the accident.
The cause of the pedestrian accident remains under investigation. Police say they do not suspect that impairment played a role in the crash, so it remains to be seen whether the driver violated traffic laws or failed to yield to the right of way to the jogger.
Washington law prohibits pedestrians from bolting out into traffic so that a driver has no time to stop, but the onus falls to the driver to take care and be aware of pedestrian traffic. Even when there is no marked crosswalk, drivers are required to stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the road at an intersection.
People injured by drivers who fail to yield in accordance with traffic laws can seek compensation for their injuries through a personal injury suit. When an accident victim dies as the result of a driver's failure to yield the right of way, the victim's family members may be entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
In the confusion that surrounds an auto-pedestrian accident, it can be difficult for even highly trained accident investigators to sort out who is at fault. Nonetheless, as an Olympia police officer said of this tragic accident, "They both couldn't have had the right of way at the same time." Because so much depends on the conclusions of an investigation, Seattle accident victims might do well to seek professional assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after an accident as possible.
Source: KIRO, "Jogger hit, killed by SUV in Olympia intersection," Feb. 1, 2013