Some motorists are under the impression that a green light gives them absolute right-of-way and/or permission to drive forward in all situations. But in reality, that isn’t the case; drivers can only proceed on a green light when it is safe to do so.
This week’s fatal auto-pedestrian accident in Henderson is a possible example of this phenomenon. On Tuesday night around 11pm, a 56-year old man attempted to cross Boulder Highway on foot near Major Avenue, about three-quarters of a mile north of Black Mountain Golf and Country Club. He was struck by a 2007 Chevrolet sedan heading south on Boulder Highway on a green light. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and authorities say that neither speed nor alcohol or drugs appear to be factors in the incident.
It’s unclear whether or not the man was in a marked crosswalk at the time of the auto-pedestrian accident. So it’s quite possible that the 35-year old woman who drove the sedan will not be liable for his death.
However, there are circumstances which might place some or all of the blame on the woman, even if the man did not have the right-of-way. If it is determined that the woman proceeded through the green light while the man was still in the roadway (and her speed wasn’t high enough to prevent her from stopping in time), then she could still possess some responsibility for striking him. If this is the case, the surviving family members of the 56-year old man could choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against her.