Last year, the number of traffic accidents in Las Vegas fell overall by 9% to under 23,000, marking the third straight year of a decrease in that category. However, fatal pedestrian accidents were a different story, shooting up 32% in 2010 to 29 in 2009.
The final fatal pedestrian accident of last year occurred two days before Christmas at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Koval Lane not far from the Strip. According to police, a 74-year old Las Vegas woman was walking across Flamingo in a marked crosswalk around 1:30am. A Ford Explorer driven by 27-year old Paul Davis of Las Vegas entered the intersection on a green light and struck the woman, who died at the scene. Witnesses say that Davis tried to slow down before the impact.
The trend of fatal pedestrian accidents is continuing in 2011. On Monday afternoon, a 66-year old woman died after trying to cross Flamingo Road at Pearl Street (about five miles east of the December accident site). Patsy Sanchez was reportedly not in a marked crosswalk when she was hit by a sport utility vehicle. She was later pronounced dead at Sunrise Medical Center.
Any wrongful death lawsuits filed by the heirs of these two ladies might have some challenges to overcome. In the 2010 accident, reports indicate that the driver had a green light, so he may have had the right of way. And with this year’s accident, the woman was not protected by a marked crosswalk when she was hit. These two facts might hinder the plaintiff’s ability to prove that the drivers of the SUVs were at fault.