Sample Car Accident Defendant’s Deposition Part 3

A. Yes, sir.
Q. Does that car go straight or does it turn?
A. The car in front of me to my recollection went straight. Because I was behind a vehicle as I proceeded west on Green –west on Main Avenue.
Q. So, your recollection is that vehicle went straight through the intersection as you did following it?
A. Yes, sir. It was at least one car, may have been two cars in front of me. I don’t re – like I say, I don’t –I don’t recall exactly, but there were cars in front of me. And I was behind a vehicle. And as I went through the intersection, the intersect –the street sort of bends a little bit, and we went close –as I mentioned before, close to the center –
MR. HUNTER: Mr. Manning, the question was: Did the car in front of you go straight?
A. The car in front of me went straight.
Q. Okay. And there was at least one there, possibly was two?
A. Possibly two.
Q. But no more?
A. I don’t know, sir. I don’t recall.
Q. Okay. As you go through the intersection of River coming west on Main Avenue, there’s at least one car ahead of you, maybe two, perhaps even more. Is there anyone behind you?
A. To my knowledge, there were a flow of traffic behind me.
Q. Okay. And as you’re driving, you cross the intersection and now you’re heading west on Main Avenue. Are you generally going up hill,down hill, level?
A. It’s a little bit of a –if I recall -I’m trying to recall because –it’s a little bit of an incline –of an incline up.
Q. Okay. Is there a court or a cul-de-sac that you come up to on the right, Princeton Court?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay. You know that from being familiar with the area?
A. I know –I know the –yeah, I know that there’s a –I know there’s a court there.
Q. Okay. And Main Avenue in this area right around Princeton Court is one lane in each direction?
A. When there are cars parked on both sides of the street, sir, it’s one lane in each direction. I don’t recall whether or not there are times when there’s no parking on either side. I don’t –I don’t know if there are certain times. But when I was driving, it was one lane in each direction.
Q. Okay. As far as markings on the roadway, is it a double yellow line in the middle?
A. It’s a double line, yes.
Q. Are there any white dividing lines indicating that there’s more than one lane in this area where the accident happened?
A. You mean within the same travel portion? Where the –
Q. Yes. In other words, on your westbound lane, are there any white markings that would indicate –
A. No. No, sir, not to my knowledge.
Q. How would you describe the weather conditions then as you go through the light at
River heading west on Main? Was it raining?
10 A. Don’t believe so.
11 Q. Was it snowing?
12 A. Don’t believe so.
13 Q. Were the roadways dry?
A. To my knowledge.
Q. Was it dark?
A. Very dark.
Q. Darker than usual?
A. Darker than usual.
Q. Why was that as far as could you tell?
A. Ask God. I don’t know, sir. You’re asking me why was it dark. I don’t know.
Q. Well, no. I’m saying, why is it darker than usual?
A. I don’t know, sir, why is it darker.
Q. But that’s how it seemed to you?
A. Yes, sir. Cloudy, dark.
Q. Darker than usual?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you have your headlights on?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were you having any problems seeing as you were driving coming through the intersection of River and Main?
A. No problem seeing per se, sir. As I mentioned to you, there was a flow of traffic coming towards –towards us on the other side with the -with their headlights, and I don’t recall if any of those persons had their high beams on or not. But I’m just saying there was a flow of headlights – headlights coming towards us.
Q. From the time you crossed the intersection of River and Main, how many cars were coming the opposite direction? Was it more than one?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Okay. And again, you seem to be mentioning headlight glare. Are you saying that at any point in time a glare from some eastbound headlight obstructed your view or interfered with your ability to see?
A. What I’m saying is, that there were headlights coming towards us. And those –that -headlights in conjunction with being so dark -could have –could have ob –lessened the ability of anyone to see as much as they normally would see.
Q. But I’m asking: That evening, do you feel that the oncoming headlights lessened your ability to see what was in front of you?
A. A little bit possibly.
Q. So, what did you do?
A. I glanced away from them. Looked towards the –what you normally do, you’re supposed to do, is to glance away from the headlights, not –not look into the glare.
Q. Okay. So, you glanced to the right, your right?
A. To my right a little bit.
Q. Okay. Now, when you’re saying glance which implies a temporary look and then look back –
A. Uh-huh.
Q. –did you focus your eyes more toward he right side of the road, or were you glancing back and forth?
A. Glancing back and –moved around. Glanced –not back and forth, sir. I got to keep my eye on the –on the road where I’m going. I can’t be driving like this, you know, to the side. I’m watching where I’m going, but I’m scanning with my eyes. I’m scanning the area, you know, not –you know, to avoid the –any –any particular light –you know, any glare.
Q. And as you cross the intersection of River and Main, what are you scanning for?
A. My –I always look for any –any type of hazard in the road. I always look to see if there’s anything that could possibly be a danger in the road.
Q. Pedestrians?
A. Pedestrians. Somebody opening a car door. A child running in –running in the street. Any –anything. You try to be alert. I try to be as alert as possible when I’m driving.
Q. So, take me then from –you cross the intersection of River. There’s one or two or maybe more cars in front of you, but at least one.
A. Uh-huh.
Q. There’s someone behind you. You have your headlights on. You’re scanning the area in front of you as you’re driving. Take me from that point and tell me what happens.
A. I heard a thud against the right side of my car where the passenger door is. Felt –sounded like it was at the lower part of the passenger door. And I didn’t know what it –I said to myself, what –what hit me? What –what’s going –and I immediately slowed down. Came to a stop. Observed a spot where I could pull over safely, be out of the flow of traffic. Pulled to the curb. At this point, the dog came up to –when I pulled over, the dog came up on the front seat. I left her there. I secured the car. I exited the car. I looked back. I saw something in the –I saw –in the road.
Q. You saw Mr. Frederick in the road?
A. Well, I didn’t know at that point what was –what had –what was there. But it looked like it
was a person. I didn’t know exactly. I walked –I walked –started to walk back. I saw –I saw people gathered around. I saw cars stopped. And as I said, I saw a gentleman. I saw somebody in the road. Actually what I saw first was like dark blue. Like a dark –I didn’t know what it was, dark blue. And as I got closer, I said, oh, my God. Somebody –there’s –you know, somebody walked – somebody hit my car. Somebody walked into the car. Something happened. And I walked back to the –to the scene of the accident. To the scene.
Q. Did you go up to Mr. Frederick?
A. No, sir. People were around Mr. Frederick.
Q. When you say you walked back to the scene, where did you go?
A. I walked onto the curb. I walked back at the –where the –I walked right near the –where he was, but I didn’t go up to him. There were several people around Mr. Frederick comforting him. Somebody putting something under his head and –and so forth. And I felt if I walked up to the gentleman, walked up with all the people there, there wasn’t anything that I could personally do at that point. Best thing for me was just –was to stay there. And I called 911, immediately called
911 at that time.
Q. And when you called 911, what did you say?
A. I said, there was an accident, need an ambulance. I need an ambulance. And the lady on
the phone was trying to ask me some different questions, and I gave her the ad –I gave her the location, and I was nervous. I said, I need an ambulance. Please ask these questions, you know, who am I, all this afterwards. Please get an ambulance. And she was on the –there for a while. And then she –I don’t know, the phone disconnected. And I called right back. And I called a second time, and the person the second time said, we have –an ambulance is on the way. An ambulance is on the way. And I stayed there. And that’s when – you know, like I said, I went over to the side. That’s when this other lady came over. And that was –and then –and I made –I was there. I do –I do recall someone screaming out very loud, hit and run, hit and run. And I raised my hand. I said, no, I’m here, I’m here.
Q. When you heard the noise to the right side of your car and toward the passenger side, where were you looking? You said you heard, but you didn’t see.
A. I didn’t –
Q. Where were you looking?
A. I was looking ahead at the –there was a car in front of me. And I was watching the traffic. And I was looking to –I was looking as I drove. You know, you can see through the windshield. You can see –I was look –I was observing as best I could be.
Q. But you saw nothing?
A. I didn’t see the person. As I said to the police, I heard the noise. I heard the noise.
Q. Do you have any explanation as to why you didn’t see Mr. Frederick before the contact between your vehicle and him?
A. I mentioned it already, sir, that it was very dark and so forth. The only other reason – only other thing that I can understand, sir, is that the gentleman was not visible. He had very dark clothes on. He was –from what I could see when he was on the ground, he was a small person. He just was –he just blended –blended in. I don’t know. I’m not trying to make excuses to you or anything else. I’m being just very honest with you. I’m driving as a normal driver. And there was –
Q. Did you consider yourself to be at fault for striking Mr. Frederick?
A. No, sir.
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Go ahead, you can answer.
A. No, sir.
Q. Why not?
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Go ahead, you can answer.
A. Because I was operating my car in a proper –in a proper manner at the time. The police investigated the accident thoroughly. I was not charged with an –with an offense. There was no indication that this was anything more than an accident.
Q. Okay. You don’t have any facts that you saw or heard or smelled or felt at the scene that Mr. Frederick did anything to cause the accident; do you?
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Go ahead, you can answer, sir.
A. Mr. Frederick was not in the crosswalk. He was in a flow of traffic in a busy intersection. Well, not intersection, excuse me. A busy traveled roadway. And by doing so by my understanding, he put himself in peril of being injured. And –and if I did that and I something happened to me, I would consider that I contributed to my own injuries by my own actions. And it’s by the grace of God, I’m either –I would –whatever would happen happened, it would be an accident.
Q. If we were to assume that Mr. Frederick was standing in the travel portion of westbound Main Avenue, why wouldn’t you see him standing there as you drove up Main Avenue?
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Assumes facts not necessarily in evidence. Go ahead, sir, you can answer.
Q. Assume he was standing there in the street like you seem to be saying he must have been, do you have any explanation as to why you wouldn’t see him?
A. Because of the weather being very dark and the gentleman being in very dark clothes, blending in, and not making himself visible. I personally, sir, would not have put myself in that position. If I were to go back and forth to my vehicle at night like that, I would have worn something that’s reflective. I would have worn something that would obviously be seen.
Q. In your experience, is that what people do when they’re going out to their car from their
house, they put on reflective clothing to cross the street?
A. If it’s a busy street –
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Go ahead.
Q. I’m just asking: Is that your experience?
A. Yes, sir.
MR. HUNTER: Objection.
Q. It is?
A. Yes, sir, I do. I do.
Q. What reflective clothing do you put on to cross the street to your vehicle?
MR. HUNTER: Objection. Go ahead.
A. A jacket.
Q. A jacket?
A. A vest. An orange vest or a yellow vest. I also ride a motorcycle, or did ride a motorcycle. And, so, I’m –I know to make myself visible when it’s at night. I know that. And you asked about the driver improvement before, I know –
MR. HUNTER: Wait for the next question, Mr. Manning.
Q. You can go ahead and tell me.
MR. HUNTER: Go ahead. You can finish.
Q. Go ahead and finish your thought.
A. I know that, to make yourself visible if you are in a roadway.
Q. Your driver improvement materials say on Page 52 of the materials, quote, your driving performance is constantly being challenged on the roadway because of collision potential with numerous hazards that exist, not only with trucks and cars, but even bicycles and pedestrians.
A. Uh-huh.
Q. Do you agree with that statement?
A. I agree with that.
Q. As you crossed River intersection and you’re coming up what you think is a slight incline there towards Princeton Court, there is a vehicle in front of you, at least one you told us?
A. Yes.
Q. What speed are you going as you are coming up this slight incline towards Princeton Court
on Main Avenue
A. I estimate I was going between 15 – around 15. No more than 20 miles an hour.
Q. Was the vehicle in front of you doing approximately the same speed from what you could tell?
A. Approximately the same speed. I was behind that vehicle.
Q. How much distance were you behind that vehicle as you approached Princeton Court?
A. Approximately one and a half car lengths.
Q. As you are coming up that slight incline from the River intersection going the speed you told us you were going following the car at the distance you told us you were following it, did you see any cars parked on the right side of the road?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Where were they in reference to Princeton Court, before Princeton Court or beyond it?
A. There were cars parked, I know, beyond Princeton Court.
Q. Okay. Could you see them as you were coming up the incline before you got to Princeton?
A. Yes. You could see cars that –you could see that there was only one lane of traffic because there were cars parked all along. May have even been a car –I don’t recall exactly, but there
may have been a car before we got to Princeton. But there were –the whole –both sides of the street, there were cars parked. There was one spot. I had to look for it to be able to pull in to get into a safe spot. And that’s why I had to walk back is because there was –I had to locate a spot to be able to get out of the roadway.
Q. So, as you’re coming up the incline of Main Avenue westbound towards Princeton Court, you see cars parked on the right side of the road on your right?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You make that observation before you get to Princeton Court?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What color were those cars?
A. Dark. Some were dark. Some were light.
Q. Okay. But you saw those cars?
A. I saw there were cars.
Q. Okay.
A. Once I saw one car, then you stay –and I saw the car –I’m staying behind the car in front of me.
Q. Right.
A. I’m not looking to pass him. I’m not trying to go around him.
Q. No, no. I understand that.
MR. HUNTER: Wait for his question.
Q. I understand that, sir. I’m saying, your headlights picked up the dark cars parked on the side of the road?
A. Picked up the shadow of the cars, yes. Picked up a shadow.
Q. Did you see any person standing next to any of those cars that were parked as you’re coming up to Princeton Court?
A. No. I answered that, sir. No.
Q. The answer is no. Did the car in front of you strike anyone?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Did that car stop after the accident?
A. No, sir. The car continued –continued to proceed as it had. I just watched its tail lights go off in the distance.
Q. Where was that car ahead of you in relation to you when you heard the noise?
A. About a car –like I said, about a car to a car and a half length in front of me.
Q. Did that car have its headlights on?
A. To my knowledge. I don’t know. I wasn’t –I couldn’t see the front of the car. I assume it did.
Q. Were you distracted by anything just prior to hearing the noise?
A. No, sir.
Q. You would agree with me that –well, strike that. Do you know how wide that westbound lane of Main Avenue is in the area where the accident happened?
A. I haven’t measured it, sir, not to be smart. I haven’t measured it. I don’t –it’s a two lane –it’s two lanes if you –if you include the lane where the cars are parked on each side of the road. And I –what’s a car? A car is about five feet wide, and you got the mirrors on the side come out about six inches on each side. So, you have about –a vehicle is about six feet wide if you give for the mirrors.
Q. Okay.

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