October 17, 2019 – Ojai, California – Nick Rowley and Steve McElroy, partners at the Ojai office of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, have announced a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from an accident at a well-known, dangerous crosswalk on Maricopa Highway in Ojai, California.
Wayne “Jay” Stewart, a 20-year Ojai resident, was enjoying Easter Sunday with his wife. Later in the day, Edith went for a walk down a path she has walked for years to a nearby nature preserve where she helped feed the birds. Little did Jay know this would be the last time he would see his wife.
Soon after, Jay called his wife and a paramedic answered the phone, urging him to come to the hospital immediately. An elderly driver was driving down Maricopa Highway with the setting sun in her eyes, when she struck Edith Stewart in a crosswalk. Jay lost the love of his life that Easter Sunday. John and Susan Manning lost their mother.
The Maricopa Highway crosswalk did not have any signals or lights to aid pedestrians to cross the busy four lane highway. The California Department of Transportation owns the road, however this particular stretch is controlled by The City of Ojai.
The City of Ojai has been aware of the dangers of crossing Maricopa Highway for decades prior to the accident. In 1986, a local doctor’s son was killed when crossing the highway. Since then, a variety of citizens have expressed the dangers of pedestrian usage of the highway at various City Council meetings and have demanded action for the unsafe conditions.
The City of Ojai acknowledged in 2016 the urgent need for these safety improvements, stating “I am concerned about delay in getting going on these flashing beacons because it is a recognized public safety danger.”
The City of Ojai received grant money from the state to aid in helping remedy the dangerous crosswalk conditions including the installation of controlled pedestrian crossings with flashing beacons. These safety measures were designed to prevent this very type of event, however they were not installed until after this fatal accident.
“This is a terrible situation in which a public safety hazard has been identified for decades, funds set aside to deal with it, yet for some reason our city failed to take action which could have prevented this senseless death,” said Nick Rowley, lead attorney for the family. “The love Jay still has to this day for his late wife brings me to tears, and I have vowed to fight for answers for him and this family as to why our city failed to take timely action and allowed this loss to occur.”
The California law firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley (CZR) is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the injured. CZR’s mission is to help clients recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries. CZR’s in-house team is able to handle any type of personal injury case, and has the experience and resources necessary to take cases to trial. For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit www.CZRlaw.com today.
SOURCE Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley — CASE #: 56-2019-00535055-CU-PA-VTA.