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There are a number of laws defining the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians and motorists.  Despite these laws, the shared use of our roads by cars and people often leads to sad results.  Case in point this week in a bizarre and tragic story out of Olympia:   

Preston C. Newby, 24, of Tualatin, Ore., was on a cell phone calling 9-1-1 about the accident when another vehicle swerved around the dead elk, striking Newby, who died at the scene.

Traffic was tied up for three hours while officers investigated.

The accident happened when Andrea L. Glandon, 16, of Mansfield was driving north on Interstate 5 when the 2000 Kia Sephia she was driving struck an elk, blocking another lane.

Newby came by to help.

Claudia R. Fisher, 24, of Yelm drove by in a 2002 Subaru Legacy, and swerved to miss the dead elk and the disabled car, but struck Newby, a Washington State Patrol news release today says.

In this particularly case, the driver who struck Mr. Newby potentially failed to use “due care”.  

Drivers exercise due care – Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary (RCW 46.61.245).

Related laws setting out the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians and drivers summarized at the Department of Transportation website.  

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