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Poor lighting may be to blame for fatal pedestrian accident

East Providence, Rhode Island, police are investigating an accident that happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15. Police report that a 53-year-old woman was struck down by a vehicle driven by a 39-year-old local resident. The driver had been traveling in the northern direction when the pedestrian accident occurred. Also in the car were two children, but neither the children nor the driver were injured.

When the police arrived at the accident scene, they found the woman on the road. She was unresponsive at the time. Police attempted to resuscitate her until a rescue unit arrived, but she remained unresponsive and was then transported to a nearby hospital. There she was pronounced dead.

Although the investigation will continue, police suspect that the cause of the accident could have been the poor lighting of the surrounding area. At this time, they are not charging the driver of the vehicle that was involved in the accident. Once the investigation is complete, they may reconsider possible charges.

In a case like this, the responsibility of the county may also be investigated. Depending on who is identified as the guilty party once the investigation is complete, the family of the deceased retains the right to file a wrongful death claim. This type of claim must be based upon evidence of negligence that either caused or substantially contributed to the pedestrian accident. In circumstances where the law determines that an act of negligence was committed, a Rhode Island court may also consider the imposition of punitive damages, in addition to any financial restitution awarded to the victim's family.

Source: wpri.com, East Providence pedestrian hit, killed by car, Chris Raia, Nov. 16, 2013

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