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Pedestrian In Wheelchair Fatally Struck By Vehicle In Modesto

Fatal Pedestrian Accident, Modesto, CA

Man In Wheelchair Killed In Pedestrian Accident In Modesto  

Modesto, CA – In the early hours of a Modesto morning, a life-altering incident occurred, casting a somber shadow over the community. A collision involving an SUV and a man in a wheelchair unfolded, leading to tragic consequences. This article delves into the details of this heart-wrenching event, examining its legal implications and underscoring the indispensable role of legal expertise in such situations.

The Incident

On a fateful Thursday morning, just before 6 a.m., a distressing scene unfolded on Santa Cruz Avenue near Mono Drive in Modesto. Daniel Trevarthen, a 64-year-old man in a wheelchair, was tragically struck by a southbound Chevrolet SUV. Despite immediate life-saving efforts, Trevarthen succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The SUV driver, who remained at the site, was unable to avoid the collision as Trevarthen entered the intersection, which notably lacked a marked crosswalk. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, with factors such as speed and potential substance use yet to be determined.

Legal Implications

The tragic incident in Modesto, casts a spotlight on the critical legal issues surrounding pedestrian safety and driver responsibility. In California, the vulnerability of pedestrians, especially those with mobility impairments, is a growing concern. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise, with a significant percentage involving individuals in vulnerable situations like crossing outside designated crosswalks.

In this particular case, several legal aspects come into play. Firstly, the lack of a marked crosswalk at the intersection raises questions about the pedestrian’s right of way and the driver’s duty to yield. California law stipulates that drivers must exercise due care for the safety of pedestrians, a factor that becomes even more crucial when the pedestrian is in a wheelchair. However, pedestrians are also bound by law to exercise caution and avoid sudden movements into the path of oncoming vehicles.

The investigation into this incident will likely focus on determining whether the driver of the SUV was traveling at an appropriate speed, given the road conditions and visibility at the time. Additionally, the role of environmental factors, such as lighting at the intersection, will be scrutinized. The possibility of impairment due to drugs or alcohol, always a critical factor in such accidents, remains to be determined by the authorities.

Statistically, accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians in wheelchairs present unique challenges. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that accidents involving pedestrians with disabilities tend to result in more severe injuries or fatalities, given their increased vulnerability and the likelihood of being in the driver’s blind spot.

This complex interplay of legal and factual issues underscores the necessity of expert legal representation in such cases. A knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney can dissect these multifaceted aspects, ensuring that all contributing factors are considered in pursuing justice and fair compensation. The attorney’s role extends beyond mere legal representation; it involves being an advocate for the rights of the most vulnerable on our roads, striving to bring about a resolution that acknowledges their unique challenges and the devastating impact of such accidents.

In situations where negligence or legal complexities are involved, the expertise of a personal injury attorney becomes indispensable. They provide not only legal guidance but also compassionate support during challenging times. The Scranton Law Firm, with over 50 years of experience and a record of recovering over $1 billion for clients, stands as a beacon of hope and expertise. If you or a loved one has been involved in a similar incident, reaching out for professional legal assistance can be a crucial step towards justice and recovery.


  1. What legal rights do pedestrians in wheelchairs have in traffic accidents? Pedestrians in wheelchairs are afforded the same rights as any pedestrian, with additional considerations given to their vulnerability.

  2. How is liability determined in accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles? Liability is assessed based on factors like adherence to traffic laws, the presence of crosswalks, and the actions of both the pedestrian and driver at the time of the accident.

  3. Can a pedestrian be held liable in a traffic collision? Yes, if it’s found that the pedestrian acted negligently, such as crossing outside a crosswalk or not adhering to traffic signals.

  4. What should I do if I’m involved in a pedestrian accident? Seek medical attention immediately, document the scene and contact details of witnesses, and consult with a personal injury attorney.

  5. How can a personal injury attorney assist in pedestrian accident cases? They can help navigate the legal process, establish liability, and ensure fair compensation for injuries and damages.


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a fatal pedestrian 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 Modesto pedestrian 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.