Authorities say that a distracted driver hit two high school students on Weedpatch Highway and Eucalyptus Drive in Bakersfield around 6:40 a.m. on Oct. 16. A 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old girl were both taken to Kern Medical Center. The 17-year-old girl was said to be in critical condition with a lacerated kidney, and one of the girls was in a coma.
Police say that the 26-year-old woman who hit the girls was looking at the center console of her vehicle when the accident took place. However, they also said that there was no evidence that the woman was using a phone. It further appeared that neither drugs nor alcohol played a role in the accident. The two pedestrians were reportedly legally using the crosswalk when they were hit.
The speed limit at the intersection is 25 miles per hour when children are present. However, police say that they are not sure how fast the driver was going. Police say that an investigation is ongoing, and the investigation will need to be completed before any charges are filed. Residents say that the intersection is particularly dangerous and that added protections are needed to prevent future accidents.
A distracted driver who causes a car accident may be held financially liable for that accident. This may be true regardless of whether or not criminal charges are filed in the case. The driver who causes the accident may be required to pay for the injured party's medical bills, long-term care costs and possible punitive damages. A personal injury attorney may be beneficial to anyone pursuing legal action against a negligent driver.
Source: KernGoldenEmpire.com, "Two students hit by car, one in coma", October 16, 2014