Every time a motorist gets behind the wheel of a vehicle in Pennsylvania, he or she owes a reasonable duty of care to others who happen to be in or near the roadway. That duty is applicable to other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. We previously noted the increasing danger that pedestrians appear to face on the streets of Pittsburgh. In Ellwood City on Jan. 23, an elderly man was struck on a city street by a public works department truck and seriously injured. The truck accident occurred at the intersection of Sixth Street and Wayne Avenue at about 3 p.m.
The 83-year-old man was hit as the vehicle, driven by a 45-year-old public works employee, turned left off of Sixth Street to go eastbound on Wayne Avenue. The victim was rushed by ambulance to Ellwood City Hospital, where the decision was made to airlift him by helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. Later that evening the man was reported to be in critical condition.
No information was immediately disclosed as to whether the driver was cited for any legal violations in connection with the truck accident. The police are presumably continuing to investigate and will ultimately file a report indicative of their findings.
Independent of any traffic infractions or other violations the driver may face, the victim may wish to pursue a lawsuit to recover monetary damages based on a claim of negligence against the public works employee. While the first concern is, of course, for the full recovery of the elderly man, he and his family may want to know exactly what circumstances led to the accident and perhaps seek to hold the driver responsible if he is deemed negligent in the crash.
Source: Beaver County Times, “Man hospitalized after being hit by pickup,” Eric Poole, Jan. 23, 2012