(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
The intersection in question is, to say the least, unusual. There is a stop light that controls north and southbound traffic on River Drive. This light is visible for quite some distance (particularly at night). At the time of this accident the newly-constructed roadway had only recently been opened to traffic. It was an ancillary project as part of the Central Freeway Replacement. It is disputed whether there was or was not a stop sign for the bicycle path portion of River Drive. Plaintiff contends there was no sign in place at the time of the accident.
The investigating officer testified at deposition as follows:
Q. Is there a stop sign at the corner at that Frontage road, that you’re aware of?
A. I don’t believe so….And I don’t believe there’s a stop sign there, but I’m not a hundred percent sure. It’s not indicated in the report. So I would say, there is no stop sign there.
Photographs-of the intersection taken well after the accident do show a stop sign, although it is substantially obscured by trees which were planted along the right curb of the bicycle path. Various photographs of the accident scene demonstrate its appearance (copies of which are available for review). These photographs likewise illustrate the problematic nature of the intersection.
Defendant contends the portion of the River Drive roadway to the right of the divider is not a bicycle path. They prefer to call it a frontage road. The nature of the roadway and its use is a question of fact.
There are also disputed facts as to what lighting and reflectors were on the bicycle Mr. Nathan was riding.
Both defendant’s car and plaintiff’s bicycle are subject to the dictates of the Vehicle Code and to applicable ordinances of the County of Sacramento. The essential question is one of reasonable prudence. (See Part 3 of 3.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.