The last few months of 2011 were plagued by several auto-pedestrian accidents. In response, authorities in and around Las Vegas are trying to increase awareness among motorists about the need to yield to pedestrians who are inside marked crosswalks. But law enforcement personnel has also instructed pedestrians to stay within crosswalks whenever possible.
Apparently, two people failed to yield that second piece of advice in Las Vegas last week. About 1:45am on Friday morning, a man and a woman were trying to cross the street at the intersection of East Harmon Avenue and South Boulder Highway, which is near the Wal-Mart Supercenter on the east side of the city. According to police, the two pedestrians began crossing the roadway in a crosswalk, but then left the safety of the crosswalk before reaching the other side. That’s when they were struck by a northbound Chevrolet pickup truck which had entered the intersection on a green light. Both victims were transported to Sunrise Medical Center. The man was listed in serious condition, but the woman succumbed to her injuries at the facility.
At Harmon Avenue, Boulder Highway is divided by a median, which creates sort of an “H” intersection. If the couple was trying to cross Boulder Highway, it would be plausible for them to begin crossing in a crosswalk but then cheat across the road while in the middle part of the “H” in order to avoid having to cross at another signal. But in this scenario, they would be walking in front of traffic which has the right of way – and would be hard-pressed to be successful in any subsequent personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of a vehicle that hits them because they were outside of a marked crosswalk.