• January 10, 2017

Sabino Ruiz Killed in West Memphis, AR, Pedestrian Accident

Crittenden County, AR/strong> -- January 9, 2017, Sabino Ruiz was fatally injured due to an accident where he was struck by a vehicle on the interstate.

According to the Arkansas State Police report, the incident occurred just before 6:00 a.m. near the intersection of I-40 and Kuhn Road.

20-year-old Ruiz walking on I-40 traffic lanes. It's unclear if he was crossing lanes or walking along them. The report indicates that a westbound Chevy Traverse did not see the pedestrian in time, and the vehicle struck Ruiz in the roadway.

As a result of the collision, Ruiz suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene.

Authorities did not say if any charges were considered following the accident. Their investigation is ongoing.

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Pedestrian accidents can be more complex than a lot of people would think. It's something that our firm addresses quit frequently since not everyone knows all the ins and outs regarding pedestrian accidents. Usually, people will assume that determining liability in a pedestrian accident is as simple as determining who had the right of way at the time. While determining right of way is certainly a significant piece of information, saying whether or not someone is liable for an accident is much more complex and requires examination of the context of the incident as a whole.

Our firm has represented several pedestrians over the years, some of which actually violated the right of way at the time, either by walking on the wrong side of the road, not using a sidewalk, or not using a crosswalk. Whatever the case, most people would say open and shut case, the pedestrian was at fault. Well upon further investigation of the drivers in these cases, it turned out they were behaving negligently at the time--sometimes speeding, sometimes texting, sometimes drunk.

In cases like those, it can be reasoned that the driver should have had the wherewithal to avoid the accident altogether. Pedestrians have an obligation to obey traffic laws, but drivers have an obligation to avoid accidents if at all possible. If their negligent behavior prevents them from doing this, then determining liability goes beyond just looking at who had the right of way. No matter the accident, it's important to look at all aspects of the accident and not just obvious details. It's not enough to apply surface-level examination to the context or to generalize fault based on what likely happened or what commonly happens. Victims and their families deserve the benefit of the doubt. This means thorough investigations and a fair shot to hold all parties accountable for their actions.

--Grossman Law Offices


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