Kathleen Moorhead, 57, was killed in a San Francisco car accident after she was struck by a suspected drunk driver the evening of July 17, 2010. According to a Bay City News report, the fatal crash occurred on Treat Boulevard near Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek. Police say the driver of a pickup truck, who was traveling east on Treat Boulevard, lost control of the vehicle and crossed a median into the westbound lanes.
The driver then steered the truck back into the eastbound lanes and went over a sidewalk where he struck Moorhead, before crashing into a tree. An investigation has determined that the driver of the pickup truck was drunk. The driver was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Moorhead was transported to a local hospital where she died shortly afterward.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kathleen Moorhead for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities but 40 injuries due to DUI collisions in Walnut Creek. In Contra Costa County as a whole, 20 fatalities and 446 injuries involving alcohol-related crashes were reported during the same year.
Driving under the influence is a serious crime under California law. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”
A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges. California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
In such cases, families of deceased victims would be well-advised to contact an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and make sure that the negligent parties are held accountable. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, lost future earnings, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. For more information about the dangers of drunk driving, please visit MADD’s web site at www.madd.org.
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