a pedestrian's shoes as they walk down the street

10 Deadly Pedestrian Accidents in 2023

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Greetings! My name is Yosi Yahoudai and I am one of the co-foundering attorneys at J&Y Law Firm, a personal injury law firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California. This blog will be analyzing some of the worst pedestrian accidents that happened in the United States in 2023 to try to understand what causes these types of accidents to help prevent future injuries and deaths.

As practicing attorneys who have stood by many victims and their families, we at J&Y Law Firm have witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of pedestrian accidents. The year 2023 was particularly alarming in terms of the number and severity of these incidents. In fact, pedestrian deaths in the United States reached a 40 year high in 2023. Through this blog, we aim to not only recount these unfortunate events but also to raise awareness about pedestrian safety and the legal rights that protect individuals in such dire situations.

Our objective with this blog is twofold: to honor the memory of those lost in these tragedies by bringing their stories to light and to educate our readers on the importance of pedestrian safety. We also aim to provide a better understanding of the legal recourse available to victims and their families, emphasizing how vital it is to seek justice and compensation in the wake of such tragedies.

The team at J&Y Law Firm is dedicated to championing the rights of those harmed due to others’ negligence. We believe that awareness and education are key in preventing future accidents and ensuring safer streets for all. Join us as we navigate through these poignant stories, hoping to make a difference in our community by promoting safety, awareness, and justice.

What are the statistics regarding pedestrian accidents?

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association releases an annual report of Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State which offers a comprehensive look at state and national trends in pedestrian deaths each year. Their latest report revealed the following:

  • Every day 20 pedestrians are killed by moving vehicles
  • There were 7,508 pedestrian deaths in 2022
  • Pedestrian Deaths Are Increasing Faster Than All Other Traffic Fatalities
  • Deaths of people walking surged 19% in just three years
  • New Mexico has had the most pedestrian deaths in the country for 7 years in a row
  • Pedestrian deaths are increasing because of unsafe infrastructure and the prevalence of SUVs, which are more deadly for pedestrians than smaller cars
  • Empty roads during the pandemic fueled pedestrian deaths due to speeding and distracted driving
  • Roads with a mix of different vehicle speeds tend to be more dangerous for pedestrians

What can be done to make roads safer for pedestrians?

According to Peter Norton, a professor at the University of Virginia who has studied the history of driving in America, the following ideas could be implemented inexpensively to improve safety for pedestrians on roadways. 

  • Implementing sharp corners instead of round curves at the end of roads forces drivers to slow down to turn and therefore prevents speeding
  • Adding pedestrian islands and large sidewalk bulb-outs (these 2 techniques are known as “traffic calming”)
  • Installing speeding cameras and red light cameras can also be effective if they work properly.
  • Adding bike lanes can keep drivers more alert on the road as they scan for bicyclists.
  • Lowering speed limits and enforcing them effectively
  • Adding more police officers to locations that are known to have a higher instance of accidents
  • Adding sidewalks and bright street lights on all roads
  • Adding guard rails between the road and sidewalk

The 10 Worst Pedestrian Accidents of 2023

The following stories represent the most frightening scenarios that can occur when a pedestrian is struck by a car or truck. While there are over 7,500 pedestrian deaths each year, the following stories should highlight the devastating consequences of such an accident. 

Two pedestrians killed within an hour in separate LA New Years accidents

crashed car in california with firefighters visible in the background of the crash scene

December 31, 2023 LOS ANGELES, CA – Two pedestrians were struck and killed by hit-and-run drivers in separate incidents just hours apart in South Los Angeles overnight. The first crash happened just before 11 p.m. when a car driving northbound on Western Avenue ran into a pedestrian who was crossing the street near 247th Place in the Lomita area. Once the pedestrian was down in the street, they were struck by two additional cars, both of which also fled from the scene. The victim, who has since been identified as 26-year-old homeless man Elias Johnson, was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics. His identity has been withheld pending the ongoing investigation. Just over an hour later, at 12:05 am, a different pedestrian was crossing Obama Boulevard when they were struck by a car driving southbound on La Cienega Boulevard. In this instance, however, the driver remained at the scene in an attempt to render aid to the victim, who was also pronounced dead at the scene. On Wednesday, he was identified as 42-year-old Martin Romero. In the hour between both of the fatal pedestrian-involved crashes, a family of four was involved in a violent and deadly collision miles away in the Harvard Park area, with two of their family members killed. The suspect in the collision was fleeing from the spot of a separate crash. Anyone with information on any of these incidents is urged to contact investigators at (323) 421-2500. (source)

2 pedestrians killed in separate crashes in Ventura County

November 19, 2023 VENTURA, CA – Two Oxnard men were struck and killed by vehicles late Sunday in two separate crashes. A 52-year-old man wearing dark clothing was standing in a southbound traffic lane on Highway 101 north of Seaward Avenue in Ventura, according to the California Highway Patrol. He was earlier identified with a different age. Shortly before 10 p.m., he was struck by a 2019 Ford Ranger headed southbound in the same lane around 65 to 70 mph, authorities said. After the man fell, two other vehicles also hit him before emergency crews got to the spot, the CHP reported. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was identified Monday as Matthew Hornsleth, who was believed to be homeless. The cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries in what was found to be an accident by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office. The driver of the Ranger, a 25-year-old Camarillo man, remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation, the CHP said. In Oxnard, a man was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash shortly before 11 p.m., the Oxnard Police Department reported. He apparently had been trying to cross the street near Hueneme and Perkins roads when he was hit by oncoming traffic. The medical examiner’s office identified him Monday as Marco Vazquez Solano, 40, with an unknown city of residence. Oxnard police earlier provided a different age for him. He also died of multiple blunt force injuries in what the medical examiner’s office concluded was an accident. The driver of the vehicle drove away after the crash, police said. (source)

2 pedestrians killed on same day in Central California

November 18, 2023 MODESTO, CA – An investigation in Stockton and another in Modesto are underway after pedestrians were hit and killed by a vehicle Saturday night. A man died after he was hit by a vehicle in Modesto around 7:30 p.m. The collision happened in the 3300 block of McHenry Avenue in Modesto, CA. The Modesto Police Department said a woman driving a Ford Fiesta was traveling south on McHenry Avenue when she collided with the man just north of Woodrow. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities. They said she did not show signs of impairment from drugs or alcohol. In Stockton, CA, a 60-year-old woman was killed after she was hit by a vehicle. The collision happened at El Dorado Street and Vine Street. (source)

2 pedestrians killed by DUI hit-and-run in Orange, CA

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November 24, 2023 ORANGE, CA – A suspected drunk driver was arrested after a hit-and-run crash that left two people dead in Orange, CA. The incident happened shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday on North Shattuck Place near the 55 Freeway, according to an Instagram post from Orange Police Department. Investigators say Humberto Flores, 26, was driving a Ford F-250 when he hit a parked Chevy Silverado. Two men who were standing near the Chevy were hit by the driver, police say. They both died at the scene. Family and friends have identified one of the victims as Manuel Ortiz. Maria Grant has been friends with Ortiz for almost 30 years. “He had high expectations of you, but he was there for you to listen to you or if you just needed anything,” Grant said. “It didn’t matter what time, he would be there.” She said he was a hardworking man who loved cars and was dedicated to his five kids and grandchildren. “He just always just kept going and to know it ended because of a drunk driver – that just really breaks my heart,” Grant said. “On Thanksgiving you should be with your family eating or whatever, but he wanted to make somebody’s day and give them back their truck or whatever that I believe he had been working on,” Grant added. Police said Flores fled the scene on foot but was taken into custody shortly after. He faces multiple charges including two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing death and fleeing the scene of a crash. The families of these victims are asking the community to think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car if they’ve been drinking. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ortiz’s family with funeral expenses. (source)

Child and adult killed in SC crash that left another minor hospitalized

October 21, 2023 FLORENCE, SC – A crash in front of a Pilot Travel Center in South Carolina left two people dead and another person hospitalized, according to the Florence Police Department. On Saturday, October 21, 2023 at about 7:45 p.m., officers responded to the Pilot station on West Lucas Street, police said in a news release. That’s near Exit 164 on Interstate 95. Officers found three pedestrians — one adult and two minors — had been hit by a vehicle, according to the release. The adult and one of the children died at the scene, while the other minor was taken to an area hospital, police said. The Florence County Coroner’s Office has not publicly identified the two victims who died. The surviving child is in critical condition, according to the release. Further information on the child’s injuries was not available. No other injuries were reported. Officers determined the driver was not impaired and that person was neither cited nor charged with any crime, according to the release. Information about the details of the crash was not available. Through Wednesday, 778 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2023, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Last year, 1,091 people died in crashes in South Carolina, DPS reported. At least 18 people have died in Florence County crashes in 2023, according to DPS data. Last year, 39 deaths were reported in the county, DPS reported. (source)

Pedestrian crash kills one and injures another in South Carolina

November 25, 2023 TRAVELERS REST, SC – The Greenville County Coroner’s Office said they’ve identified the victim from a crash involving two pedestrians that left one person dead and another injured in Travelers Rest the night of Saturday, November 25, 2023. The Coroner’s Office said the crash occurred near Glenview Park Place and N. Main St around 8:34 p.m. According to the Coroner’s Office, the two pedestrians were reportedly hit by a single vehicle at the intersection. They added that one of them passed away at the scene, and the other was taken to the hospital for treatment. The Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Jennifer Berry of Travelers Rest, SC. The cause of death was blunt force injury to the chest and it was ruled accidental, according to the coroner. The Greenville County Coroner’s Office and the Travelers Rest Police Department are investigating the crash. (source)

Charleston, SC man struck and killed by pickup truck

November 10, 2023 CHARLESTON, SC – The Charleston County Coroner’s Office has released the name of a pedestrian who died after being struck by a vehicle. Theodore Ward Walker Jr., 67, died from injuries sustained after being struck, Coroner Bobbi O’Neal says. The crash happened at approximately 9:22 p.m. when Mr. Walker was attempting to cross I-26 west near mile marker 209 and was hit by a 2008 Chevrolet pickup truck, Master Trooper Gary Miller says. O’Neal says Walker died on the scene. Miller says the driver of the truck was unharmed. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating. (source)

Goose Creek, SC woman dies after being struck by vehicle

October 25, 2023 GOOSE CREEK, SC – The Berkeley County Coroner’s Office has identified the 57-year-old woman who was killed in a crash in Goose Creek. Vickie Tyson, of North Charleston, died after being struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross over Highway 52, coroner Darnell Hartwell said. The crash happened on Highway 52 near Red Bank Road around 7 p.m., Chief LJ Roscoe said. The Goose Creek Police Department is investigating. (source)

South Carolina man struck and killed by tractor trailer

December 29, 2023 HORRY COUNTY, SC – A Myrtle Beach, SC man was hit and killed by a tractor-trailer early on the morning of Thursday, December 28, 2023, according to the Horry County Coroner’s Office. Robert Wilkerson, 68, was identified as the pedestrian who died in the accident. The crash happened at about 1:15 a.m. about 3 miles south of Conway, SC, according to SCHP Master Trooper Brandon Bolt. The 2013 Peterbilt tractor-trailer was traveling south when it hit Mr. Wilkerson in the roadway. The driver was alone in the truck and was not injured, Bolt said. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. (source)

North Charleston, SC woman killed after vehicle collision

November 22, 2023 NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Gloria Allen, 73, of Charleston, SC died following a night-time auto-pedestrian accident on November 22, the North Charleston Police Department confirmed. At around 7:45 pm, NCPD officers responded to a report of an auto-pedestrian accident at 7565 Rivers Ave., near Easy Street. Allen died at Trident Medical Center later that day from injuries sustained when she was fatally struck. Although the driver, 29-year-old Cherard Ladson, was charged with driving under the influence, he was not charged with any type of vehicular homicide offense. Five days later the victim was found at fault for crossing the road outside of a marked crossing, police determined. (source)

Call a California Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today

As we conclude our discussion on the 10 deadly pedestrian accidents of 2023, it’s important to remember that each statistic represents a life, a family, and a community impacted by these tragedies. At J&Y Law Firm, we are deeply committed to advocating for the safety and rights of pedestrians in Los Angeles and beyond. Our review of these accidents is not just a recounting of events, but a call to action for increased safety measures and awareness.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a pedestrian accident, know that you are not alone. The path to justice and recovery can be challenging, but with the right legal support, it is attainable. At J&Y Law Firm, we offer a free consultation to help you understand your rights and the potential for legal recourse. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation, ensuring that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.

We encourage anyone who has suffered in a pedestrian accident to reach out to us at 310-774-0778. Let us help you navigate through these difficult times with the guidance and support you deserve. Remember, your safety and well-being are our top priority, and we are here to stand by your side every step of the way. Get started today.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.