Jayden Montgomery, an 8-year-old boy, was tragically killed yesterday after being hit by a dump truck in the Spring Garden section of Troy Hill, in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. This tragic crash serves as a reminder of the heightened danger that exists during the summer due to increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic. One neighbor, who was interviewed by local news summed it up best with her comments: “A lot of kids ride up and down here, and cars fly.” “You just have to watch. It’s summer vacation. Kids are out everywhere. They are always up and down”.
Professional truck drivers, like a dump truck driver, have a heightened duty and should exercise increased vigilance to watch for children playing or riding their bikes in an area that’s known to have a lot of pedestrian and children bike riders.
Unfortunately, these tragedies continue to repeat themselves. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2015. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. Additionally, in 2015, 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash related injuries in and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 5 children under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
Anytime there is increase pedestrian or bicycle traffic in an area where you’re operating a motor vehicle, the driver of the motor vehicle has to maintain a heightened degree of vigilance and anticipate potential points of conflict with pedestrian and bicycle traffic and take steps to avoid a collision. Quite simply, children especially are not in the same position to exercise the same degree of judgment as a professional driver, like a dump truck driver or a tractor trailer driver.
At Matzus Law LLC, we have significant experience in handling pedestrian and bicycle collisions involving commercial vehicles like busses, tractor trailers and trucks. Contact us today for more information and to schedule your consultation.