The city of San Diego has agreed to pay $1.8 million dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the city's failure to install a $3,000 traffic signal at an accident prone intersection. The family of Kenneth Charles Sully, a motorcyclist, brought the action against the city after he was killed in April 2009 at the intersection after being hit by a car. City records indicated that a dozen other acccidents had occured at that intersection between 2006 and 2009.
According to the city attorney, Jan Goldsmith, the city had been slow to address the issues at the intersection. A left turn lane had been created, however the city didn't put up any left-turn yield signs or a turn signal which undoubtedly gave motorists the impression that they could turn left into oncoming traffic once the signal turned green. Goldsmith did state that several attempts to fix this issue were not completed because of budget concerns and employee incompetence.
The details of the accident show that Sully was traveling north on Pacific Highway when a car heading the opposite direction turned left onto Cedar Street in front of him. Sully tried to maneuver around the car but was unsuccessful and struck the rear passenger side. He later died of traumatic head injuries. In the lawsuit, his family referred to the the issue as " a foreseeable, preventable accident."
Three months after Sully's death, the city completed the installation of a left-turn signal at the intersection.
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