Last week, a pedestrian was left with allegedly disabling injuries after she was struck by an automobile in a crosswalk at the intersection of Cerrillos Road and St. Michael’s Drive in Santa Fe. According to Santa Fe Police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns, 49-year-old Candice O’Dell was hit by a car after she stepped off of the curb and into the crosswalk. Despite that two signs warn drivers to yield to pedestrians, Dobyns stated the 27-year-old driver involved in the crash likely did not have enough time to come to a stop when O’Dell entered the dedicated turn lane.
According to accident witnesses, O’Dell stepped out in front of the car that hit her without first looking for traffic. During the crash, O’Dell’s head reportedly struck and partially shattered the passenger windshield of the vehicle. Immediately following the accident, O’Dell was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center where she reportedly remains in critical condition. O’Dell allegedly suffered both a spinal injury and a head injury in the collision.
According to Dobyns, the cause of the accident remains under investigation. She stated the driver of the automobile that struck O’Dell was not ticketed and there was no reason to believe he was speeding at the time of the crash. The accident occurred at the same intersection where 46-year-old Nina Heman was killed last year in a similar incident. In July 2011, Heman was struck by a pick-up truck as she stepped into the crosswalk of the same dedicated turn lane. The driver of the truck that hit Heman also was not cited.
It is unclear why pedestrians continue to be injured or killed at this particular intersection. Sometimes, in addition to careless, negligent, or reckless drivers, poorly designed roadways can contribute to an increase in injury accidents. Unfortunately, whenever a pedestrian is hit by an automobile, the resulting injuries are often traumatic or fatal. Depending on the situation, pedestrian accident victims may be eligible to receive damages for their medical costs, suffering and pain, lost benefits and wages, and any resulting disability. Additionally, the family members of someone killed in a pedestrian accident may be able to recover funeral expenses and other damages. If you or a loved one were a victim in a New Mexico pedestrian accident, you only have up to three years to file your case. This is why it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can after an accident.