Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Mike 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

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

Gold 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:

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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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How To Avoid Injury As You Exercise Outside

 OK, so I’m one of those crazy guys you see running around as I try to stay in shape and I was just asked what my biggest worry was — injuries? weather? dogs? No, it’s drivers. I’m careful and have fortunately never been struck by a car or truck. But many fellow runners, others on foot, and cyclists have not been so lucky.

I’m representing a man who was seriously injured when he was walking in a highly visible crosswalk in the Fort Worth Stockyards during the day and I did some research. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (N.H.T.S.A.) reports that 4,743 pedestrians were killed and about 76,000 were injured in traffic-related accidents in 2011. This equals one pedestrian death every two hours and one pedestrian injury every seven minutes because of crashes. N.H.T.S.A. counts runners, joggers, walkers and others who are standing or sitting as pedestrians.

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Worldwide Questions Have Local Impact

Ever used Uber and wondered if the driver was covered by liability insurance? I did yesterday in Dallas (as I needed a ride to and from the Dallas Marathon which I was running) and the drivers admitted that they were not covered. Luckily, we were not involved in any collisions.

Finally Uber and other pseudo-cab companies are catching flak from governments across the globe. Just this week, Spain, Thailand, the Netherlands and the Delhi region of India suspended its services. Earlier in the year, the cities of Brussels, Rio de Janeiro and Seoul banned the company from operating and Germany issued a countrywide moratorium. U.S. municipalities and state governments are also taking action, with ride sharing regulatory bills introduced and squashed in Washington, Oklahoma, Maryland, Georgia and Florida, and passed in Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Missouri and Tennessee, among other states. Ordinances have also been considered in various cities throughout the United States, including in Texas in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Some lawmakers cite concerns about unfair competition by the unregulated transportation networking companies (TNCs) — such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar — within the otherwise highly-regulated taxi industry. More importantly, numerous incidents have highlighted security lapses and insurance coverage gaps within the unregulated TNC model.

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