Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

dreamstime_xs_76135020My heart goes out to the North Side families of a 2-year-old girl who died yesterday and a 3 year-old boy who was killed last week when cars hit them.

The little girl was crossing the street in front of her house west of the Stockyards when a drunk driver hit her Sunday evening.  The man has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

The little boy was chasing his ball not far away in a neighborhood just off of Jacksboro Highway when he was struck. The driver didn’t even have a license. The collision happened in a cul-de-sac, so investigators said speed was not a factor. But even at a slow speed, a vehicle can seriously injure or kill a pedestrian.

In March, an 8-year-old girl on a scooter in front of her house died after being struck in east Fort Worth.

That’s a horrifying statistic: three children killed here in our streets in two months.

There seems to be no end in sight to pedestrian injury cases.

More than 5,000 pedestrians of all ages are struck and killed by vehicles each year. A whopping number of them (550) died in Texas in 2015.

I was just hired to represent a 7-year-old girl who was critically injured when she was hit by a truck in southwest Fort Worth several weeks ago.

And I’m going to court next week to finalize the case of a young girl seriously injured when she was crossing in front of a stopped school bus in north Fort Worth.

Like any personal injury lawyer, I have unfortunately represented many pedestrians and their families who have suffered injuries and deaths. Here are a few things I have learned about these devastating injury cases.

Children Are More Likely to Be Killed By a Car 

Children remain a higher than average percentage of these pedestrian deaths until they are 15 years old. For children ages 5 to 9 years old, getting hit by a car is the third leading cause of death.

Why are kids at greater risk of traffic fatalities? A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explained some of the reasons. Continue reading

dreamstime_xs_27451221-300x200We have the technology and the knowledge to bring pedestrian deaths to zero. Instead, the rate keeps rising.

In 2015, injury lawyers were surprised that pedestrian deaths had increased by the largest amount since national records were first recorded more than four decades ago. But 2016 has topped the previous record with 6,000 pedestrian deaths, another 11 percent spike. And no doubt, this year’s number will be even higher.

What is responsible for this record number of deaths? I’m sure you guessed correctly: texting.

But not just texting drivers. Texting walkers.

Everywhere you look, people’s eyes are glued to their phones, whether they are walking, biking, running, pushing baby strollers, and of course driving.

The phone-obsessed are oblivious to danger. We saw that firsthand last week when a texting driver killed 13 members of a church choir when his pickup truck collided with the charter van. If there were ever a case that should get our state legislature to outlaw texting while driving, this is it.

On Tuesday, a young woman plunged 60 feet from a bridge in Northern California and barely survived after taking a selfie.

People are so focused on the phone rather the risks around them that they are just accidents waiting to happen.

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14572841_10101408880683794_3869634090170748768_nMike Micallef was struck by an SUV near Reata, the excellent restaurant in downtown Fort Worth restaurant that he owns. He  was standing on the sidewalk with coworkers at the corner of Throckmorton and Sixth Streets at 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Suddenly, a car travelling in the wrong direction hit the SUV, which caused it to jump the curb and almost crush the entire group.

Mike averted a disaster by heroically pushing the others out of the way before he was hit. He sustained a fractured skull, a crushed vertebra, and other serious injuries.

In this sweet photo he posted to his Facebook page, you can see the look of relief on his and his daughter’s face. I’ve seen seen that look before in my 36 years as an auto accident lawyer here in Fort Worth. But Mike should not be in the hospital. Continue reading

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Get used to school zones and slow buses

A lot of changes happen on the first day of school …. for children and drivers alike.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve lived by the same school for years, you might easily forget about school zones and slow buses during the blissful summer months when those driving issues don’t exist.

The first few weeks of school can be a shock to the system. Last week, you were driving at 35 or 40 MPH down the street. This week, you have to slow down to 20 MPH.

But just as your children have to get their minds into gear, so do we drivers. Continue reading

dreamstime_xs_22095492Gold and bronze medals go to Texas — too bad it’s not for sports

We Texans are used to winning. But sometimes, it would be better to come in last place.

A poll just ranked deaths to motorists and passengers from vehicular collisions. Unfortunately Texas was first in traffic fatalities of any state in the country and the third in pedestrian fatalities in 2014. A staggering 3,538 people died in automobile crashes and 476 were fatally hit by cars. And we should take little comfort in our 12th ranking for pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents.

Nationwide, 32,675 people died in traffic-related wrecks, and close to 15 percent of those killed were pedestrians. This is an insane number of completely preventable deaths.

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No Way This Can Happen

In a shocking episode on Sunday, one of our police officers decided to spray a group of passing motorcyclists with pepper spray. 

The incident started when Officer W. Figueroa pulled over a pickup truck and cited the driver for having no driver’s license and cited passengers for standing in the truck’s bed. 

During the traffic stop, the East Texas Heat motorcycle group rode by. The 200 cyclists were celebrating the biking season in a club-organized “Welcome Back Weather” ride. 

What the officer did next is outrageous. Figueroa pointed a canister of pepper spray at the riders and pulled the nozzle. One rider describes a white or yellow cloud that floated into the caravan of motorcyclists. 

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My prayers are with the victims and their families of the homecoming parade crash Saturday morning at Oklahoma State University. 

The celebration just north of DFW turned to tragedy when a woman plowed into the crowd, killing four spectators and injuring more than three dozen others. Some are still in critical condition.

Among those killed was a two-year old child, a life taken too soon by a person police suspect was apparently driving drunk. Appallingly, 11 of the 47 people who were injured were 13 years old and younger.

The others who died include a woman who pushed a 7 year-old child out of the car’s path, a hero who gave her life to protect a child. A 65 year-old retired OSU professor and his 65 year-old wife, a 30 year employee of the university, also were fatally struck. A 23 year-old MBA student visiting from Mumbai was also killed in the horrific OSU drunk driving accident

25 year-old Adacia Chambers was arrested for DWI at the scene. She was also charged with four counts of second-degree murder for each victim of the deadly crash. 

This video shows the horrifying scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqYF2CMEFwA

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school bus kid getting on

School started this week for most kids in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I again saw a lot walking to school and being dropped off this morning as I ran before work. It is mandatory that we all slow down and pay attention to the road and talk to our children about traffic safety.

Watching Out for Kids During the School Year

As you shuttle your children to school by opening bell then race to work, the temptation to speed or to quickly check your email is understandable. Resist the urge and follow these school year traffic laws:

  • Never use a cell phone while driving through a school zone
  • Do not speed, especially in a school zone
  • Comply with the school’s drop-off and pickup procedures
  • Be aware that kids could dart out in front of your car at any moment
  • Do not pass a bus that has stopped and activated its flashing red lights


Careful driving not only ensures the safety of kids, but also avoids a very expensive ticket. Texting or talking on the phone while driving through a school zone can result in a $200 ticket. Passing a school bus while its flashing red lights are engaged can cost up to $1000 in fines. 

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Man On Drugs Was Speeding at Up to 100 mph

While her mother and two of her children waited in the car, Sylvia Zazueta walked into the Star Food Mart to pay for gas and buy a drink for her son early on Tuesday afternoon. This ordinary act ended in tragedy when a speeding Chevrolet Avalanche truck barreled through the window of the store and landed on top of the 24 year-old Fort Worth woman. Medics rushed to pull the truck off her and she was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital. She tragically died from critical injuries to her head, chest and extremities.

Seven others were also seriously injured in the crash, including one man who was pinned beneath the vehicle. 


Pedestrian Was Walking in Crosswalk When He Was Fatally Struck By Shuttle Bus

A pair of running shoes still on the road is a heart-breaking reminder of the dedicated medical professional killed in front of the hospital he had served for close to 33 years. 61 year-old Randal Dygert was crossing Harry Hines Boulevard near Medical District Drive on Friday just before 7 a.m. on Friday when he was struck by a shuttle bus dropping patients off at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The shuttle bus dragged the nurse 50 yards. He died instantly upon impact.

Another hospital employee who was also struck by the van was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in stable condition. Thankfully, she is expected to recover from her injuries.

The two employees were in or near the crosswalk when they were hit. However, they did not have the green light. But according to witnesses, around that time of the morning, the area is typically filled with pedestrians arriving to and leaving from work during the regular shift change.

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