A 16-year-old girl was struck by a car in front of a shopping center while riding home from class on her bicycle on a January evening in 2016. Yessica Angel-Moreno suffered catastrophic injuries and passed away six days after the incident. Now, her family has filed a lawsuit against the shopping center and the engineering firm that designed the street.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the lawsuit contends that the driveway configuration at Village Shoppes Plaza in Royal Palm Beach Florida makes it impossible for a driver to see cyclists as they pull out of the shopping center. The lawsuit names the civil engineering firm that designed the expansion of the boulevard in front of the shopping center from two to six lanes. The family also believes that the engineering firm should have addressed safety problems with the driveway during the expansion.
The driveway where the teen was struck was permitted as temporary access to the shopping center when the center was constructed in 1983. At that time, the boulevard was a two-lane road. The attorney for the Angel-Moreno family claims that the owner of the shopping center, Royal Arnav LLC, should have known that the driveway was permitted for temporary access.
The lawsuit also claims that Royal Arnav LLC allowed trees, shrubs and a sign to block drivers’ view of the sidewalk.
An attorney for the shopping center claims that the incident did not occur in front of Village Shoppes Plaza, but at another shopping center.
Investigators found that Ms. Angel-Moreno did not have lights on her bicycle, though she was riding after 8 p.m. She was not riding in a crosswalk when she was struck.
According to the National Safety Council, the risk of being involved in a fatal crash is three times higher at night than during the day. Lack of light, compromised night vision and fatigue contribute to make driving at night more dangerous.
In Oregon, cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet or other approved protective headgear. Additionally, cyclists in Oregon are required to have a white light attached to the front of their bike that is visible from at least 500 feet away if they ride at night. Cyclists must also have a red light or reflector on the back of the bike that is visible from at least 600 feet to the rear. You can read more about bicycle safety and regulations in Oregon in the Oregon Bicyclist Manual here.