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Ontario Woman Dies After Hit-and-Run in Big Bear

Ontario, CA (February 2nd, 2020) – According to authorities, a man who fled a deadly hit-and-run in Big Bear City was charged with a DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

The suspect, Christopher Michael Gardner of Sugarloaf was charged in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. The 46-year-old was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter with a DUI along with two enhancements in causing death or bodily harm. Gardner was also charged with fleeing the scene of the crime, two counts of DUI along with a misdemeanor vehicle violation and a hit-and-run resulting in injury or death.

The suspect has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Gardener was driving a Toyota Highlander on the evening of Sunday, January 31st. At around 6 p.m., the suspect allegedly struck three pedestrians who were headed westbound on Barton Lane and east of Holmes Lane.

The hit-and-run victims included a 22-year-old man from Henderson, Nevada, and two locals, including a 30-year-old woman from Ontario and a 29-year-old man from Long Beach. The CHP reports that the woman from Ontario was declared deceased at the scene of the accident.

The suspect fled the scene of the incident but was later arrested by the California Highway Patrol. According to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, the arrest took place in the neighborhood of Sugarloaf at about 10:30 p.m.

Gardner’s bail has been set at $250,000.

The authorities have not released the identity of the victims involved. The Arrowhead Area CHP is asking anyone with information about the fatal accident or the events leading to the accident to contact their office.

The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that pedestrian accidents are a serious concern for the state. Based on information published by the NHTSA, pedestrian accidents have been on an upward trend since 2009 and as of 2015, a pedestrian injury occurs every 7.5 minutes. Indisputably, the State of California has some of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in the country.

While there are many factors that may contribute to a pedestrian accident, the vast majority are caused as a result of driver negligence. Drivers in the state have the legal obligation to drive in a safe manner, which means they must pay attention to the road ahead, remain vigilant of their surroundings, and avoid injuring themselves and others on the road. Nonetheless, pedestrian accidents caused by driver negligence continue to occur.

One of the most common forms of driver negligence is distracted driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2018, almost 3,000 people were killed in traffic accidents involving distracted driving. In the same year, 400,000 people suffered non-fatal injuries as a result of distracted driving. Distracted driving is very dangerous and in a matter of seconds, a tragic accident can occur.

Another common type of driver negligence comes in the form of driving while intoxicated. Whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver will very likely face accountability for the pedestrian’s injuries in an accident. According to some reports, intoxication accounts for almost half of all pedestrian accidents.

Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents also occur as a result of low visibility. When a person is out for a jog, run, or walk during nighttime hours, the pedestrian is at high risk of being injured by a driver. While pedestrians can take precautions to ensure they are being visible in low visibility conditions, there are certain conditions that could be out of their control. For instance, a lack of sidewalks or insufficient lighting could be risk factors for pedestrians. When a person is injured as a consequence of a city’s infrastructure (or lack thereof), the government entity could be held accountable for the victim’s injuries.

For over a decade, the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of those injured as a result of another’s negligence. When a pedestrian is injured in an accident, facing pain and suffering, emotional trauma and economic distress is a reality. For many victims of pedestrian accidents, the injuries suffered can be catastrophic, which can result in high medical expenses. In addition, pedestrian accident victims also face a loss of income as a result of disability caused by the injuries. To alleviate the financial burdens of a pedestrian accident, it is necessary to contact a well-versed personal injury attorney. To obtain a no-obligation consultation with the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King, consider calling (909) 297-5001 or fill out the online contact form today.

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