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12-year-old's recent death may lead to safer crosswalk

Recently, an Albuquerque pre-teen died as the result of a pedestrian accident, which took place close to her middle school. Following this fatal automobile accident, city officials are now discussing ways of making the crosswalk where the accident happened safer.

Based on the actions of Albuquerque's mayor and a member of the city council, it appears the crosswalk will have a so-called HAWK system installed on it. The HAWK system includes lights and other signals that will warn motorists when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.

According to reports, the girl and a friend of hers were crossing the street near their school in order to go buy something before returning to the school for a carnival. They had managed to cross two lanes of traffic, using the marked crosswalk for that purpose. As they crossed the other two lanes, however, one motorist stopped but one motorist did not see the girls. This motorist did not stop and truck the 12-year-old girl, killing her.

The driver of the vehicle, who was 76, stopped at the scene and tried to help. Police have not charged or cited this driver at this time, although the law in New Mexico is that vehicles must yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. Police do not suspect that drugs or alcohol were involved and did not offer any explanation as to why the driver did not see the girl.

Even so, if a motorist accidentally strikes a pedestrian because the motorist did not see the pedestrian, then the family of the victim may be able to get compensation from the motorist. Motorists have an obligation to be on watch for pedestrians, especially when pedestrians are in crosswalks. Even if a crosswalk could have been marked even better, a victim can still expect a motorist to pay for things like medical bills and lost income.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "Girl's death spurs push for safer crosswalk," Rick Nathanson, March 28, 2018

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