Two Pedestrians Fatally Struck by SUV in Prince Georges County
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Apr 20, 2009 in Car Accidents
A teenager and a seven year old child were tragically killed at about 9:30 pm last night when they were struck by a car while crossing the street. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those killed. This collision occurred at Central Avenue and Central Way in P.G. County, Maryland. Several individuals were crossing the street when a SUV slammed into them. The SUV was driven by Umair Zaheer Akhtar who lives in Upper Marlboro, MD. The Washington Post reports that this man was cited 3 times in seven months for traffic violations. Mr. Akhtar apparently told the police he could not see the pedestrians until it was too late.
The 19-year old who was struck as a pedestrian and killed has been identified as LaRenta Vondale McFarland. The 7-year old child -Richard Young, II-survived the initial impact and was taken to Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. where the child later passed away. The police are reporting that the pedestrians were not in the crosswalk. The family of those killed should hire a private investigator right away. Police are often wrong when they make an initial assessment of whether a pedestrian was struck in the cross walk or not. It is important to remember that whether those struck were in the crosswalk or not, it does not change the fact that the driver of the SUV was negligent and should not have struck them. Drivers of cars and motor vehicles have a duty to see what is there in the roadway to be seen. Was the driver speeding? Was the driver distracted? Talking on a cell phone? Text Messaging? Unfortunately, when terrible accidents like this happen, the family of those hurt or killed often are grieving and are not focused on legal issues. This allows the insurance companies (and the driver of the SUV) to get a head start on the investigation and develop evidence to protect them. There is also a theory of legal liability called "last clear chance." If the driver was negligent, but if the pedestrians were in fact outside of the crosswalk, if it can be shown that the driver had a fresh opportunity to avoid striking the child and 19-year old, then the driver is still legally responsible for the deaths and the families of those killed would have a valid wrongful death and survival claim to pursue.
It is important that those injured or killed in pedestrian accidents hire an experienced attorney to investigate how the accident happened. It is just too easy to blame this horrible accident on an unproven allegation that Mr. McFarland was not in the crosswalk. An experienced Maryland auto accident attorney can locate and interview witnesses and hire an accident reconstructionist to determine the speed of the vehicle and the exact point of impact. The Maryland lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan are experienced crash lawyers and know how to properly investigate accidents involving catastrophic loss and death. Visit our Website at www.gfmllclaw.com for more information.