On April 4 at about 7:50 a.m., two young sisters, Marlene (14) and Amy (12) Lorenzo were walking to Clinton Middle School in South Los Angeles – like they did nearly every morning – when they were tragically struck by a double-bottom dump truck. The truck’s driver, 31-year-old Stanley Bernard Randle, was in the process of making a right turn into the marked crosswalk. Police called the monstrous accident “a hundred percent preventable.”
Details of the Horrific Accident in South Los Angeles
Detective Supervisor Moses Castillo of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division shared the circumstances that led up to this shocking pedestrian accident with PEOPLE magazine:
- Mr. Randle is alleged to have been using his smartphone to search for music on YouTube immediately before the incident occurred.
- While Mr. Randle was stopped at a red light – waiting to make a right turn – he was perusing his phone for music videos.
- When the traffic light turned green, Mr. Randle paused to look at the video on his phone’s screen and then proceed to make a right into the intersection, which had a marked crosswalk.
- Because he was distracted by his YouTube videos, Mr. Randle failed to see the two young sisters in the crosswalk.
Mr. Randle stopped at the scene of the accident, called 911, and attempted to render aid, but Marlene succumbed to her injuries in the hospital that same day, and Amy died a month later on April 22. There was no indication that alcohol or drugs played any role in the accident.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Takeaway
Castillo relayed his hope that this senseless tragedy would serve as a reminder for all drivers to think twice before engaging with their smartphones while behind the wheel. Detective Castillo reminds every driver that his or her vehicle is a deadly weapon and should always be treated as such. Every time you get behind the wheel, take a moment to reflect upon the fact that, if you don’t drive responsibly, you could hurt or kill someone on the roadway. This is not something any driver wants on his or her conscience.
The Girls’ Stories
Castillo also shared personal information about the two sisters:
- Both girls were A+ honor roll students.
- The younger sister, Amy, was a member of a nonprofit community group that focused on mentorship and giving back to the community.
- Marlene was preparing to enter high school and harbored dreams of one day becoming a midwife or a veterinarian.
- Marlene shared her vision of becoming so successful that she would be able to alleviate her family’s financial worries.
“As I head off to college next year, I want to make sure that what happens to the Lorenzo sisters never happens again to anyone, and that includes my sisters,” said Andrea Garcia, a senior at Jackie Robinson High School.
The Legal Ramifications
According to a local news channel, the case against Mr. Randle was initially referred to the LA District Attorney’s office for felony charges. Ultimately, however, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office filed misdemeanor charges against Mr. Randle. Detective Castillo relayed that the District Attorney’s office didn’t believe it could prove gross criminal negligence beyond a reasonable doubt in the case. If convicted, Mr. Randle faces a maximum penalty – for both charges combined – of two years in jail. Mr. Randle’s hearing is scheduled for June 12.
California Truck Accidents
This utterly devastating accident highlights exactly how dangerous California truck accidents can be. Massive trucks commonly referred to as big-rigs, 18-wheelers or semis that outweigh and are many times larger than noncommercial vehicles don’t just travel our highways – they also lumber through our crowded city streets. These streets are shared by innocent children on their way to school and other vulnerable pedestrians.
The Truck Driver’s Negligence
In this case, the truck driver in question seems to have acted negligently in any number of ways.
First of all, in California, pedestrians crossing the street in a designated crosswalk are uniformly allowed the right of way. Even though this driver was well positioned to see the schoolgirls – given the improved vantage point that comes from sitting high above the road in a semi-tractor – the trucker failed to look for or see them.
Secondly, if – as alleged – the truck driver was distracted by his cellphone at the time (as reported by witnesses), he was in direct violation of California’s hands-free law. This law prohibits drivers from using mobile phones in anything other than hands-free mode while operating a vehicle.
Finally, if the truck driver was on the job, which he almost certainly was – given that he was driving a dump truck at the time of the accident – his employer may share in the burden of responsibility for this tragedy.
If Your Loved One Has Been Injured – or Worse – in a Truck Accident, You Need a-proven California Truck Accident Law Firm You Can Trust
The devastation caused by this truck accident is impossible to overstate. If you or your loved one has been injured – or worse – in a truck accident, the dedicated legal team at Arash Law in California is standing by to help. Our experienced and compassionate truck accident attorneys in California are available 24/7, so please don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 488-1391 today.