Though San Diego has a number of accolades to its name, unfortunately, it also has a less laudable reputation as well for being one of the worst cities in the country—and the worst in the state—for pedestrian safety. Sadly, another recent accident has helped fortify the city’s status. Sadder still, the accident resulted in the pedestrian’s death.
The incident happened this past Tuesday. Authorities have identified the victim as 45-year-old Melissa Ratcliff. If her name is familiar to you, it may be because she was the vice president of marketing for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Ratcliff had just exited her car when the accident occurred. She had parked it on Girard Avenue in La Jolla, not far from Kline Street. According to police, it was just before noon when she got out of her vehicle and a 91-year-old woman lost control of her own. The resulting accident pinned Ratcliff between her own vehicle and the one that struck her.
Although an ambulance was able to transport her to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, she was pronounced dead not long after her arrival. The exact cause of death was not made public.
Aside from her current position in San Diego, Ratcliff had enjoyed a storied career in Washington, D.C. where she had once served as the deputy communications director for Al Gore while he was Vice President. She had also been the press secretary for Carol Browner when she was chief of the Environmental Protection Agency. Later, Ratcliff became the national Democratic Party’s head of communications.
She is survived by her three children in La Jolla. Although we lack all the details regarding the accident, it’s safe to say her family should think about contacting an attorney. While the police will handle their own investigation, an attorney is essential to understanding what the family’s rights are in the wake of such a tragedy.