After striking a pedestrian earlier this year, San Rafael police determined that 90-year-old Monsie Wagner was not at fault in the incident. According to toxicology tests, the victim, 49-year-old Jose Enrique Gonzalez Lopez had a blood alcohol level of .28 percent and was crossing the street against a red light. At the time Gonzalez was struck, Wagner was driving through a green light and was presumably unable to stop in time to prevent the collision.
This incident serves in stark contrast with the accident we wrote about earlier this month in which a 91-year-old motorist inadvertently drove her car through the side of a nursing home, killing two and injuring four. In that particular instance, it’s likely that the age of the driver played a significant role, but in the case of Wagner it’s much harder to say. Obviously it’s up to each driver to keep an eye out for pedestrians and do everything they can to avoid causing any sort of injuries while behind the wheel. However, if a drunk person wanders out in front of your car there’s only so much you can do.
Regardless of whether or not age may have played a role in the accident, the death of Gonzalez should serve as a reminder to pedestrians and drivers alike. You need to always be aware of what’s going on around you. As a pedestrian you can never assume a car sees you, and as a driver you can’t just expect that since you have a green light there’s no chance someone could wander into the crosswalk. Keeping the roads safe is a shared responsibility, and in this particular instance, an unfortunate mistake on the part of the pedestrian cost him his life.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/miikkah/885943722/