traffic-sign-6724_640Brandon Flores (Full Name: Brandon Elliott Gabriel Flores) Died In Bakersfield Pedestrian Accident With Patrol Vehicle on South Union Avenue

BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA (June 22, 2024) – A 27-year-old man identified as Brandon Flores has tragically died in a Bakersfield pedestrian accident with a police vehicle on South Union Avenue.

Kern County officials are saying that the accident took place around 3:30 a.m. on Monday. Two officers were on their way to investigate a report of an auto theft in downtown Bakersfield.

The police vehicle did not have its lights and sirens on when it collided with Brandon Flores in the roadway. Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the victim.

Sadly, Brandon Flores was later pronounced dead. The two officers involved in the crash have been placed on administrative leave.

Liability For Bakersfield Police Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving emergency vehicles are all too common. According to the National Safety Council, “In 2022, 224 people died in crashes involving emergency vehicles. Half of these deaths were occupants of non-emergency vehicles (50%). Deaths among pedestrians accounted for another 22%, while emergency vehicle drivers represented 16% and emergency vehicle passengers accounted for about 8% of the deaths.” There are a number of common causes of accidents involving police vehicles.

  • Police officers may be fatigued, especially at the tail end of long shifts.
  • Police officers may be distracted by their onboard computers.
  • Police officers may speed during their trips.

Depending on the facts of any case, a police department could be liable for an accident involving one of their officers. Generally speaking, police departments have a great deal of immunity for accidents involving their officers when those officers are responding to emergencies. However, the officers must alert the public through the use of their lights and sirens, as indicated in California Vehicle Code 21055. When police officers are not using their lights and sirens, they must obey all of the rules of the road, as would any other driver.

Police officers not responding to emergencies or using their lights and sirens must take reasonable measures in order to avoid collisions. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 21950, the driver of any vehicle approaching a pedestrian must exercise due care in order to avoid striking them. When a driver is traveling at night or during bad weather, they should slow down well below the speed limit. If a police officer fails to slow down to avoid hitting a pedestrian, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. It is important that certain steps are taken after any accident involving a police vehicle.

  • Dash-cam footage from the officers involved should be collected.
  • Medical records related to the crash should be preserved.
  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.

The vast majority of pedestrian accidents are preventable. This is particularly true when police vehicles are involved. Certain officers often believe that they are above the law and act with a sense of impunity. Part of the reason for this is that officers rarely face consequences for their wrongful actions. It is important for accident victims and their families to understand that they do have rights. The family of any person who died due to the negligence of police officers may have legal recourse through a civil claim.

Investigating Bakersfield Police Vehicle Accidents

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Brandon Flores. This was a preventable tragedy that should not have taken place. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. Why did these officers not have their lights and sirens on? What is this officer’s driving record like?

Do you need more information about a Bakersfield police vehicle accident? Our team of civil rights attorneys is here to answer any questions that you may have. We focus entirely on helping people who have been harmed by police abuses of power. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any accident, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.

 

 

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