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Clearlake Hit-and-Run Claimed the Life of a Pedestrian

Hit & Run Accident, Clearlake, CA

Tragic Hit-and-Run Incident Occurred on Highway 53, near Anderson Ranch Parkway in Clearlake

Clearlake, CA-Early Sunday morning, a tragic hit-and-run accident claimed the life of a young pedestrian on Highway 53 near Clearlake, California. This incident underscores the critical need for attentive driving and the severe consequences of impaired and reckless behavior behind the wheel.

The Incident

In the early hours of May 26, 2024, a tragic hit-and-run incident occurred on Highway 53, near Anderson Ranch Parkway in Clearlake, California. Martha Marie Martinez, a 23-year-old resident of Clearlake, was identified as the victim. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers were dispatched to the scene following a report of a pedestrian down in the roadway at approximately 1:53 a.m.

Upon arrival, officers found Martinez lying in the northbound lane of Highway 53. Despite their immediate efforts to administer medical assistance, Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene. The initial investigation revealed that she had been struck by a vehicle traveling northbound in the No. 2 lane. The driver involved did not stop and fled the scene, making this a hit-and-run case.

This incident highlights the severe consequences of impaired and reckless driving, particularly when it involves fleeing the scene. The community is urged to come forward with any information that could aid in bringing justice to the family of Martha Marie Martinez. The CHP is conducting an ongoing investigation to confirm this detail and to identify the driver responsible for the fatal incident. Witnesses or individuals with information about the collision are urged to contact Officer Leal Santana of Clear Lake CHP at 707-279-0103.

Legal Implications 

The legal ramifications of this hit-and-run accident are significant. In California, fleeing the scene of an accident, especially one resulting in death, carries severe penalties. The driver, once identified, could face charges of vehicular manslaughter, DUI, and hit-and-run, each carrying substantial legal consequences. Under California Vehicle Code Section 20001, a hit-and-run resulting in death or serious injury is a felony, punishable by substantial fines and imprisonment.

Statistically, hit-and-run incidents involving pedestrians are unfortunately common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, there were 6,590 pedestrian deaths in traffic crashes in the United States, with nearly half involving alcohol. The statistics underscore the pervasive risk pedestrians face, particularly from impaired drivers.

Beyond criminal charges, the family of Martha Marie Martinez may pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible driver. Such claims can provide compensation for medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Legal representation in these cases is crucial to navigate the complexities of wrongful death litigation and to ensure that justice is served for the victim’s family.

The tragic death of Martha Marie Martinez in this hit-and-run accident underscores the critical importance of legal representation in such cases. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide invaluable assistance by navigating the legal process, gathering necessary evidence, and advocating for the victim’s family to receive the compensation they deserve. The complexities of wrongful death claims, particularly those involving potential DUI and hit-and-run charges, require skilled legal expertise.

The Scranton Law Firm, with over 50 years of experience and a proven track record of recovering over $1 billion for injured clients, stands ready to assist families in their time of need. Our pedestrian accident lawyers are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive legal support to ensure that justice is served. If you or a loved one has been involved in a similar incident, do not hesitate to reach out for professional legal assistance.

Contact the Scranton Law Firm today to discuss your case and learn how we can help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. With our extensive experience and empathetic approach, we are committed to standing by your side every step of the way.


  1. What steps should I take if I witness a hit-and-run accident? Immediately call 911 to report the incident and provide as much information as possible about the vehicle and driver involved. Stay at the scene until authorities arrive, if it is safe to do so.

  2. How can a personal injury attorney assist in a hit-and-run case? An attorney can help gather evidence, liaise with law enforcement, and represent the victim’s family in both criminal and civil proceedings to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.

  3. What compensation can be pursued in a wrongful death claim? Compensation can include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of future earnings, and damages for pain and suffering.

  4. What are the penalties for a hit-and-run driver in California? Penalties can include substantial fines, imprisonment, and a felony record, particularly if the hit-and-run results in serious injury or death.

  5. Is there a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in California? Yes, in California, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of the victim’s death. It is crucial to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure timely filing.


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a hit & run accident alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a Clearlake hit & run accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.