Appeal, No. 21, March T., 1951, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Dec. T., 1949, No. 89, in case of Sherman Rader v. John Williamson. Judgment affirmed.
Edwin M. Wallover, with him Buchanan, Wallover & Barrickman, for appellant.
Clyde Holt, Sr., with him Holt, West & Holt, for appellee.
Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Jones, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY
Sherman Rader, appellee, instituted this action in trespass against John Williamson, appellant, to recover damages for injuries sustained when Williamson, owner and operator of a White wrecker truck, permitted it to drift backward into appellee, causing severe injury to his left leg. Rader had stepped several feet from the sidewalk into the street thinking he could secure a ride to his home with the operator of an approaching vehicle which he thought he recognized as that of a friend. A jury returned a verdict in favor of
appellee. Williamson filed motions for a new trial and for judgment non obstante veredicto contending, as he does in this appeal, that (1) appellee was barred from recovery by reason of having violated Section 1031 of the Act of 1929, P.L. 905 as amended, 75 PS § 640,*fn1 relating to solicitation of rides on highways by pedestrians, and, (2) irrespective of the statute, appellee was contributorily negligent as a matter of law in stepping into the street soliciting a ride at a point other than at an intersection.
Sherman Rader shortly after midnight on January 28, 1949, was returning to his home in Industry Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, after having attended a trade union meeting in the Borough of New Brighton. He arrived at the motor bus terminal in the Borough of Beaver too late to effect a connection with a motor bus.He proceeded westwardly along Third Street in that Borough, hoping to overtake the bus as it returned to Third Street.He again failed to overtake the bus and crossed to the north side of Third Street and proceeded eastwardly beyond the intersection of Wilson Avenue and Third Street. At that time he observed a White wrecker attached to a tractor. The tractor was attached to one or more trailers moving westwardly along Third Street. The White truck became detached from the tractor and moved diagonally on Third Street to a point approximately 2 feet from the north side of Third Street.
Third Street in the Borough of Beaver is approximately 44 feet wide, the center area being concrete 30 feet in width. On either side thereof is a 7 foot strip of brick covered with a bituminous surface.
The White wrecker unit, owned and operated by John Williamson, appellant, came to a stop approximately 15 feet west of appellee. Rader stepped from the sidewalk into Third Street approximately 2 feet for the purpose of signaling a vehicle which he saw approaching, and which he believed to be operated by a friend, hoping thus to secure a ride to his home. Realizing that the automobile was not driven by a friend, he turned to his right to return to the curb when he was struck by the right rear of the wrecker as it either drifted or was backed slowly on the cartway. His left foot was pinned by the right rear wheel of the wrecker and his left leg was severely injured. No horn was sounded by appellant nor was any warning or indication ...