• January 12, 2017

Terry Ray Decaro Killed in Longview, TX, Pedestrian Accident

Longview, TX -- January 11, 2017, Terry Ray Decaro suffered fatal injures after an accident where he was hit by a motorcycle while crossing the road.

Longview authorities responded to a fatal accident scene near the intersection of E Marshall Avenue and E Loop 281 at around 7:00 a.m.

According to Longview Police, 59-year-old Decaro attempted to cross traffic lanes of Marshall Avenue on foot. As he did so, a motorcycle did not see him in time and crashed into him. The collision threw Decaro on the roadway where he was then struck by another oncoming vehicle.

As a result of the incident, Decaro suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities did not report any additional injuries relating to the incident.

At this time, authorities do not plan on filing any charges or citations. They say the incident remains under investigation.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Pedestrian accidents can sometimes be complex because not everyone is familiar with how liability works in relation to them. Looking at this accident, police are claiming that the pedestrian failed to yield the right of way to the motorcycle when he entered the roadway. This could certainly be the case; there are accidents that happen just like that everyday. The misconception, however, is that this automatically makes the pedestrian liable for the accident. This isn't exactly the case, and it all revolves around the concept of proximate cause.

Whenever a civil jury is trying to determine liability, they are looking for the proximate cause. What this means is they are looking for the event which most directly caused the damages in an accident. In other words, what was the main cause of the victim's injuries? Citations, charges, or simple police reports indicating fault are not enough to guarantee who is liable for an accident. Everything depends on the context of the scene and the evidence presented to the jury. So how does this relate to pedestrian accidents?

Texas Law has a statute which requires drivers to avoid a pedestrian if at all possible. Drivers have a duty to other people to be attentive of their surroundings and react to hazardous situations to the best of their ability. When a pedestrian illegally enters the roadway, this is something that drivers need to be able to react to. Most of the time with these kinds of accidents, there's not much the driver can do. If a pedestrian isn't paying attention, enters the roadway, and leaves a driver with barely any time to react, it's very difficult for a driver to reasonably avoid the accident.

However, our firm has handled cases in the past where the driver's negligent actions significantly contributed to the accident. In those cases, the pedestrian was indeed entering the roadway illegally, but they did so in a way where they were clearly visible to any reasonable driver. An attentive driver in those cases would have had time to stop or avoid the pedestrian in the roadway. These drivers, however, were texting, excessively speeding, intoxicated, or otherwise driving dangerously. These actions impaired their ability to react in time, thus striking the pedestrian.

We expect pedestrians to follow the rules of the road, but we also expect drivers to be aware of their surroundings at all times. When drivers fail to pay attention to the road or handle their vehicle safely, they are failing the community and putting citizens at risk. There are many scenarios where this kind of thing happens, and everyone involved needs to be held accountable for their actions. This is the reasoning behind determining liability.

When someone is hurt or killed in an accident, basic fact patterns and surface-level investigations are not enough. The full and complete context must be thoroughly examined in order to determine all of the factors that contributed to the accident. When multiple people's negligence contributed to an incident, it is up to the evidence and the jury to decide who was ultimately responsible for the accident. By considering all of the facts of an accident, anyone contributing to someone's injury or death can be held accountable for their actions, and proper resolution can be achieved.

--Grossman Law Offices

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