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Car accident claims the life of pedestrian

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Tragedy struck the town of Mansfield after an elderly woman was struck by a vehicle and killed, according to a report released by local police. Officers in Tioga County responded to the Pennsylvania car accident that claimed the life of a 90-year-old woman. While the driver involved in the crash has not yet been charged with a crime, the investigation is still ongoing according to local and state authorities.

The report says the accident happened on the afternoon of May 10 on State Route 6. The woman is believed to have wandered into the roadway, though the reason for this behavior was not clarified in the report. A 70-year-old man headed eastbound attempted to swerve out of the way of the woman, but was reportedly unable to avoid striking her. She was pronounced dead on the scene by a county coroner.

The driver of the vehicle, who has not been publicly named by police, does not appear to have suffered any injuries in the crash. Charges against him have not been filed pending further investigation into the specifics of the accident. It is unknown what caused the woman to enter the roadway, but it is possible her advanced age may have played a role in this decision.

Regardless of why the woman was in the roadway, personal injury law regarding a car accident of this type would typically hinge on a common law rule known as “last clear chance.” In circumstances where one party is negligent -- such as a pedestrian wandering onto a highway -- liability could still attach to the motorist whose vehicle strikes the pedestrian if the evidence demonstrates that the driver had a last clear chance to avoid the accident; that is, that the driver saw the pedestrian and had enough time to react in a reasonable manner so as to avoid a collision. In those case, the family of the deceased victim likely has grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in a Pennsylvania civil court, offering evidence to establish the driver's negligence was material contribution to the accident.

Source: stargazette.com, "Mansfield woman killed in car-pedestrian crash", Jeff Murray, May 12, 2018

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