We have discussed just how vulnerable pedestrians are on the roads. There is little that can protect them in an accident, which means that injuries suffered in an auto-pedestrian accident can prove to be catastrophic.
This was the tragic case recently when a 101-year-old woman was hit by a police car and killed in St. Paul, Minnesota. The accident is a grim reminder of just how much damage can be caused when a motorist does not take precautions to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
The accident reportedly happened early in the evening when a police officer was responding to a call at a St. Paul residence. As the officer was leaving the scene, he or she backed up without noticing the elderly woman crossing behind the vehicle. The woman was struck by the squad car at a very slow speed, but she fell to the ground and suffered fatal injuries as a result of being hit.
Even though the car was going very slowly, the impact of the collision was forceful enough to knock the pedestrian off her feet.
Whether or not the police officer will be charged is unknown at this point. In similar cases, drivers end up avoiding any criminal ramifications for their actions. But victims of these accidents and their families have the right to pursue compensation for an accident if the driver’s negligence or recklessness contributed to the accident, even if he or she is not criminally charged. In this case, the woman’s family may be able to hold the driver accountable for their loss citing his or her failure to properly observe the surroundings before backing up. Had he or she taken a few seconds to note the presence of the pedestrian and avoid hitting her, the accident could have been prevented.
Source: KARE-11, “101-year-old woman dies after being hit by St. Paul squad car,” Aug. 22, 2013