MARKELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is an appeal from a judgment for defendant in a personal injury negligence case. Plaintiff, while crossing on foot Harford Road near Glendale Avenue, was struck by an automobile owned and operated by defendant.
Harford Road actually runs northeast and southwest. In the record directions are (and in this opinion will be) referred to as if Harford Road ran north and south and perpendicular streets east and west.
Glendale Avenue runs both east and west from Harford Road, but not in continuous straight lines. West of Harford Road it is perpendicular and is thirty feet wide, from curb to curb, with sidewalks ten feet wide on the north side, nine feet four inches on the south. East of Harford Road it runs slightly north of perpendicular, and is twenty-four feet wide, with sidewalks apparently nine feet eight inches wide. Immediately east of Harford Road the north curb of Glendale Avenue is slightly north of a straight prolongation of the south building line of Glendale Avenue west of Harford Road. Harford Road is sixty-eight feet five inches wide, twenty-two feet nine inches from the north curb, twenty-two feet eleven inches from the south, to double street car tracks, twelve feet between the north and south bound tracks, and five feet four and one-half inches between the two rails of each.
"181. (Pedestrians' Right-of-Way at Crosswalks.) (a) All pedestrians shall have the right-of-way at street crossings in the towns and cities of this State, except where traffic is controlled at such crossings by traffic officers, or traffic control devices. Between street crossings in such towns and cities, vehicles shall have the right-of-way." Code, 1947 Supp., Art. 66 1/2, sec. 181 (a). There is no statutory definition of "street crossing" other
Defendant contends that this "marked" crosswalk was the only crosswalk or "street crossing" at Harford Road and Glendale Avenue and that the marking of this crosswalk excluded the existence of any "unmarked" crosswalk. Plaintiff contends that this "marked" crosswalk was only an additional crosswalk and that the marking of it did not put an end to "unmarked" crosswalks at "that portion of [the] roadway ordinarily included within  the prolongation or  connection of the lateral lines of sidewalks at intersections", especially since the "marked" crosswalk does not permit crossing either street without crossing both. (Bracketed numbers supplied.) Plaintiff apparently assumes that the statute, as applied to such an irregular crossing, may be construed as limiting the "unmarked" crosswalks to the "prolongation", excluding the "connection", of sidewalk lines, thus recognizing two, not four, "unmarked" crossings of Harford Road. The trial judge did not adopt either plaintiff's or defendant's construction of the statute, but left to the jury, as a question of fact, the existence of an "unmarked" crosswalk within the prolongation of the north sidewalk lines of Glendale Avenue west of Harford Road. Plaintiff contends that in this respect
As to the happening of the accident plaintiff and defendant were the only witnesses. If plaintiff's own testimony, together with any of defendant's testimony, or legitimate inferences therefrom, favorable to plaintiff, is legally insufficient to show that negligence of defendant was a proximate cause of the accident, or affirmatively shows that negligence of plaintiff directly caused or contributed to the accident, then defendant's motion for a directed verdict should have been granted, and the jury's verdict was correct, whether correctly arrived at or not. Goldman v. Johnson Motor Lines, 192 Md. 24, 35, 63 A.2d 622. The accident occurred in daylight, about 5:15 p.m. on October 12, 1949. Harford Road is a boulevard highway. Defendant had been driving his Ford station wagon on Glendale Avenue, east to Harford Road. He testified that, after stopping at Harford Road for traffic to pass, he entered Harford Road, to the right of the centre of Glendale Avenue, and turned north up Harford Road at the easternmost rail of the northbound track, and "had proceeded possibly thirty or forty feet" when he first saw plaintiff about six feet north (and ten feet east) of him, coming toward him in a southwesterly [apparently westsouthwesterly] direction, immediately applied his brakes and came to a stop within the length of his car, but not before plaintiff's left knee collided with his right front bumper. The knee was later found to have been broken.
Plaintiff had driven his car north on Harford Road and had parked it on the east side, north of the northeast
Plaintiff also testified that in crossing Harford Road he got a little west of the inner rail of the northbound track [i.e., into the space between the north and south bound tracks], when he was struck by defendant's automobile; "it knocked me down" [he does not say it threw him any distance]; "it hit me on my left knee and on my right hand; it knocked me down and tore the seat of my pants;" he was facing the machine, lying on his back, four or five or six feet north of the machine; he saw the automobile "maybe a foot [on cross-examination, "one, two or three", "approximately one foot"] before it hit me"; * * * "I was looking south until I reached the center of the street and then looked north." Defendant testified that plaintiff "was looking north when I first saw him and then he turned around and saw me all at the same time"; defendant's car and plaintiff, when they collided, were in the north bound track; plaintiff was not knocked "off his feet", but was still standing when defendant got out of his car; plaintiff then sat down in the road about four feet from the car; plaintiff's car was parked north of the place of the collision.
Plaintiff's testimony is legally insufficient to show that he was in the "unmarked crossing" and had the right of way when he was struck. The nearest he came to saying that he was in the "unmarked" crossing was that he walked from his car north in the street "to approximately opposite the sidewalk * * * on the northwest corner." His other uncertain and contradictory statements cover a considerable distance north and south of the "unmarked" crosswalk. In thus referring to his testimony we would not overemphasize his estimates of distance or ascribe to them mathematical exactness of which they are not susceptible. (Charlton Brothers Transportation Co. v. Garrettson, 188 Md. 85, 92, 51 A.2d 642) — though allowance for error cannot make facts out of testimony that is too vague or contradictory to
It is not negligence per se for a pedestrian to cross "between crossings" or a motorist to cross a crosswalk, but either of these operations requires a high degree of care. Legum v. State, 167 Md. 339, 173 A. 565. If plaintiff's testimony fails (as we find it does) to show that he was walking in the crosswalk, it shows, e.g., from the fact that he did not see defendant's car until it was within "approximately one foot" of him, that he exercised no care at all in this undertaking.
Plaintiff contends that there is evidence sufficient to go to the jury on the "last clear chance" doctrine. This contention is based on unwarranted interpretations of testimony and computations from testimony and from the plat, to show that defendant, in his testimony as to distance, contradicted himself as to where defendant was when he first saw plaintiff. We find no such contradiction — or basis for a jury to find contradiction — in defendant's testimony. Nor do we suggest that if defendant had seen plaintiff earlier, he would have been under obligation to assume that plaintiff would walk into or in front of defendant's car. Legum v. State, supra. Collision between plaintiff's knee and a moving automobile, however slowly moving, was sufficient to break the knee, a serious injury. Nevertheless the promptness with which defendant's car came to a stop, according to either plaintiff's or defendant's testimony, suggests that defendant was on the lookout and had his car well under control.
As defendant's motion for a directed verdict should have been granted, the judgment on the jury's verdict for defendant is free from error. Objection to exclusion of testimony is immaterial, as the excluded testimony could not have changed the result.
Judgment affirmed, with costs.