Police told NBC 7 that Monserrat Menendez, 41, was crossing the intersection of Carmino Del Sur and Via Verrazanno carrying the 13-month old toddler, when a woman driving a SUV slammed into them.
Menendez was in critical condition at the scene was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She had been working as the infant’s nanny since September and has two teenage children of her own.
The infant was transported to the hospital suffering from multiple injuries including a ruptured spleen, a broken pelvis, leg and rib, along with a fractured femur, skull. As of Tuesday, the toddler was still in intensive care.
The toddler, whose has not been identified, was also seriously injured. According to NBC 7, the stroller was knocked on its side and became wedged under the front of the SUV. One eyewitness told authorities that a passing bicyclist pulled the infant from the stroller, and said the driver was screaming.
Police at first believed that Menendez might have crossed against the WALK signal, but after an investigation they concluded the driver actually ran the red light. The driver was not immediately cited pending the police investigation, but aside from the traffic violation, the individual can be charged with involuntary manslaughter. The exact charges will be left up to the discretion of the prosecutor.
NBC 7 later revealed that the female driver of the SUV was herself a new mother, and she was driving a car owned by a Jeffery Padilla. In a statement given to NBC Tuesday Padilla said they “wish to express that our hearts are broken by the horrific circumstances of this accident.”
Running a red light, especially at a busy intersection can be very dangerous both for the driver, other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
According to 2008 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 7,700 people were killed in red light accidents; an additional 733,000 people were injured. The typical victims of the these accidents are not always the driver blowing through a light; the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated that at least half of the injuries were caused by the violator.
Since traffic accidents cost billions of dollars annually, many metropolitan or heavily trafficked intersections are equipped with red light cameras. The DOT believes these cameras reduce the number of T-bone accidents, which can be extremely injurious or fatal. Most people who get a ticket generated by a red light camera rarely repeat the offense.
Authorities believe red lights are effective deterrents for drivers who are tempted to run them. Critics however believe the cameras cause more accidents because driver make erratic or sudden moves to avoid being ticketed. A study by the New Jersey Department of Transportation released a report which indicated single-direction and rear end accidents increased slightly at intersections where cameras were present, though these accidents tend not to cause as much harm.
Tags: Bicyclist, Bicyclists, Broken Pelvis, Critical Condition, Dead On Arrival, Driving A Car, Exact Charges, Intensive Care, Involuntary Manslaughter, Local Hospital, New Mother, Padilla, Pedestrians, Police Investigation, Red Light, Ruptured Spleen, San Diego Ca, Stroller, Teenage Children, Traffic Violation