September 2012 Archives

September 28, 2012

Elderly Woman Killed in Laguna Beach Car Accident

Virginia Worthington, 80, was killed in a Laguna Beach car accident after an SUV struck her at an intersection. According to a news article in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred at the intersection of High Drive and Allview Terrace not too far from her home, the evening of September 27, 2012. Worthington was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead soon afterward. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash and who had the right-of-way. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Virginia Worthington for their tremendous loss. They will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Elderly Woman Killed in Laguna Beach Car Accident" »

September 27, 2012

Bicyclists Injured in Separate Crashes in La Canada Flintridge

Two bicyclists were injured in separate traffic collisions, the night of September 25, 2012. According to a report in The Pasadena Star-News, the first collision was reported between a bicycle and a Toyota Scion at 5334 Angeles Crest Highway. The bicyclist, a 30-year-old Oregon man, suffered major injuries and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Less than an hour after this incident occurred another bicyclist was injured in a separate crash involving a Nissan Maxima at 2236 Foothill Boulevard. The 31-year-old bicyclist in that case suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized as well. Neither driver was arrested or cited.

My thoughts and prayers are with injured victims of these collisions. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Continue reading "Bicyclists Injured in Separate Crashes in La Canada Flintridge" »

September 26, 2012

Van Nuys Motorcyclist Killed in Collision

Mina Rezkalla, 19, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident after his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle that was making a left turn, the evening of September 24, 2012. According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred at the intersection of Gilmore Street and Kester Avenue. Police said the driver, 62-year-old Raymon Khoury, was driving a Mercedes Benz E320 north on Kester Avenue and was turning left onto Gilmore Street when the car collided with the southbound motorcyclist. Rezkalla was taken to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. Khoury remained at the scene. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and many friends of Mina Rezkalla who are mourning this tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Van Nuys Motorcyclist Killed in Collision" »

September 25, 2012

Woman Killed in Riverside County Hit-and-Run Collision

A 69-year-old woman was killed in a Riverside County car accident, which officials say involved a hit-and-run driver. According to a CBS news article, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred the morning of September 21, 2012 near Brookridge Lane and Washington Street in Murrieta. California Highway Patrol officials said the woman was found lying on the side of Brookridge. Family members went in search of the woman after she failed to return home. The injuries to the woman were consistent with being struck by a motor vehicle. The victim was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact CHP's Temecula office at 951-506-2000.

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family members and friends of this deceased hit-and-run victim. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Woman Killed in Riverside County Hit-and-Run Collision" »

September 24, 2012

Sun Valley Hit-and-Run Crash Injures Two

Two people have been injured in a hit-and-run collision, which officials say occurred at a bus stop in Sun Valley. According to a CBS news account, the injury crash occurred at the southeast corner of San Fernando Road and Sheldon Street. Officials say a car was traveling south on Sheldon the morning of September 22, 2012, when it made a left onto San Fernando and lost control, striking a man and woman who were at the bus stop. Both victims were transported to area hospitals after one complained of pain and the other victim possibly sustained a broken leg. At least one person was detained. It is not clear if other suspects are being sought.

My heart goes out to the injured victims of this Los Angeles car accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and full recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.

Continue reading "Sun Valley Hit-and-Run Crash Injures Two" »

September 21, 2012

Burbank Car Accidents Leaves Two Injured

Two people were seriously injured in a Burbank car accident, which officials say was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news account in The Burbank Leader, the major injury collision occurred the night of September 12, 2012 at the intersection of Olive Avenue and Alameda Avenue. Police say Maritza Luciano, 40, was driving a Jaguar east on Olive when she ran a red light at Alameda and collided with a Ford Explorer SUV.

Two passengers in the SUV were transported to the hospital with major injuries. One of the victims, a 79-year-old woman suffered facial injuries and complained of chest pain. A 66-year-old man suffered lacerations to his eye and upper lip and a spinal injury to his neck. The driver of the Explorer complained of pain to his left wrist. Luciano was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Continue reading "Burbank Car Accidents Leaves Two Injured" »

September 20, 2012

Hit-and-Run Collision in Orange Injures 9-year-old Girl

Police are looking for a driver who they say caused a car accident in Orange after running a red light and hitting a 9-year-old girl who was walking in a crosswalk. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the hit-and-run crash occurred at the intersection of West Collins Avenue and North Glassell Street, the afternoon of September 19, 2012. Police say the girl was walking with her 10-year-old brother. The children had waited on the northeast corner of the intersection for the light to change. They were walking southbound in the crosswalk wen the driver of the sedan went through a red light and struck the girl who was about 5 feet from the curb.

She sustained bruises on her face and was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Witnesses told police that the driver stopped briefly about 100 yards west of the intersection and then drove away. The vehicle has been described as a dark sedan, which has damage on its passenger side and a broken window. Anyone who saw this accident or has information about the driver is asked to contact Orange police at 714-744-7444.

Continue reading "Hit-and-Run Collision in Orange Injures 9-year-old Girl" »

September 19, 2012

Teens Injured in Van Nuys Hit-and-Run Collision

A boy and a girl, both 14, were injured in a Los Angeles car accident, which officials say involved a hit-and-run driver. According to a City News Service report, the injury pedestrian collision occurred at the intersection of Vanowen Street and Ranchito Avenue, the morning of September 18, 2012. The teens were walking in a crosswalk when a small, older-model, green pickup truck, possibly Nissan, struck them and left the scene. The children were transported to a local hospital. They are expected to survive. Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division detectives at 818-644-8020.

My heart goes out to these two young hit-and-run victims and their families for what they are going through at this time. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Teens Injured in Van Nuys Hit-and-Run Collision" »

September 18, 2012

Pedestrian Killed in Victorville Hit-and-Run Collision

Dion Levar, 49, was killed in a Victorville car accident, which officials say involved a hit-and-run driver. According to a news article in The Victorville Daily Press, the fatal incident occurred early morning on September 15, 2012 near the intersection of Mojave Drive and West Trail. Levar was found lying on the roadside by a passing ambulance driver and pronounced dead. The driver who struck Levar had fled the scene. The incident is under investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone who knew and loved Dion Levar for their terrible loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Pedestrian Killed in Victorville Hit-and-Run Collision" »

September 17, 2012

Woman Killed in La Palma Car Accident

Christine Gilbert, 29, of Long Beach, was fatally injured in an Orange County car accident after the vehicle in which she was a passenger crashed with another car and rolled over. According to The Orange County Register, the collision occurred on the westbound 91 Freeway near Walker Street, early morning on September 15, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Gilbert was riding in a 2010 Toyota Corolla with two other people when it hit a 1999 Honda Accord. The Toyota veered off the highway and rolled over several times. Gilbert sustained fatal injuries after she was ejected from the vehicle. The Toyota's driver has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family members and friends of Christine Gilbert for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Woman Killed in La Palma Car Accident" »

September 14, 2012

Motorcyclist Killed in La Verne Car Accident

James Chappell, 29, was killed in a Los Angeles County car accident after he struck a van, whose driver cut him off, officials said. According to a news report in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred the morning of September 13, 2012 on the westbound 210 Freeway near Fruit Street.

California Highway Patrol officials say Chappell was riding his 2002 Honda CBR600 motorcycle in the carpool lane, when a 58-year-old Claremont man driving a 2010 Ford E-350 van moved into the carpool lane, crossing the double yellow line, directly into the path of the motorcyclist. Chappell was unable to avoid hitting the back of the van. In spite of wearing a helmet, Chappell suffered sever head trauma and died from his injuries. No arrested or citations have been reported yet. The investigation is ongoing.

Continue reading "Motorcyclist Killed in La Verne Car Accident" »

September 13, 2012

Pedestrian Killed in Highland Car Accident

Amber Ann Muschwitz, 18, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident after a vehicle struck her from behind as she was walking near an intersection. According to a news article in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred as Muschwitz was walking west on Greenspot Road near Orange Street in Highland, the morning of September 12, 2012. A 2004 Nissan 350Z that came up behind her struck her. Muschwitz was transported to an area hospital where she died. Officials are investigating the cause of this fatal collision.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and friends of Amber Ann Muschwitz who are grieving the loss of their loved one. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Pedestrian Killed in Highland Car Accident" »

September 13, 2012

Emotional Fullerton City Council Meeting Addressed Funds for DUI Checkpoints

September 3, 2012—Fullerton, CA—Several family members of Fullerton DUI crash victims spoke out at a City Council meeting on Tuesday in condemnation of the council’s decision not to accept grant funds to finance sobriety checkpoints. The mayor promised to have the council reconsider accepting the grant funds at a future date.

The council had previously agreed to accept a grant, funded by the Office of Traffic Safety that would provide almost $150,000 for DUI enforcement programs. However, the council also voted to reject a portion of the grant funds that were earmarked specifically for traffic checkpoints to spot possible DUI suspects. Later, the police chief was informed that if the council rejected part of the grant, the entire amount would be rescinded.

Drunk Driving Still A Large Problem for Fullerton Residents

According to records compiled by the City of Fullerton police, fourteen deaths have occurred due to traffic collisions since 2009. Of these, seven, or exactly 50 percent, traced their direct cause to drunk driving.

The most famous case occurred in Fullerton in 2009 when three people, including Angels
pitcher Nick Adenhart, 22, were killed by a repeat offender DUI driver. One person, Jon Wilhite, survived the accident and was present at the meeting to urge the council to reconsider their decision.

Liability Issues in DUI Accidents

Liability in a DUI accident can be confusing. Not only does the at-fault driver face liability for the damages he or she has caused, but may also face criminal penalties. If a driver has no insurance, as is the case with an inordinate number of DUI drivers, and the driver has no personal assets and no job because he or she is being put in jail, it is difficult for a victim to collect any payments. Many repeat DUI drivers have no liability insurance because it is very difficult and expensive to get coverage after your first DUI and drivers simply take to the road without it until they are caught.

On the other hand, it is also very important to secure a civil judgment against the driver in case he or she does at some point have assets to pay for the damages. If the driver has liability insurance, it is also important to work with a professional Fullerton car accident attorney to insure that the insurer is made to pay the maximum amount allowable under the law.

There is another avenue of liability that may be open to those injured in a DUI crash. Courts have held that others can also share liability for the drunk driver’s state if they encouraged drinking and driving. For example, bartenders or restaurants have been sued for knowingly giving alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons then allowing them to leave in their cars.

September 12, 2012

Man Changing Tire Killed in Ontario Truck Accident

Sergio Becerra, 30, of Bell, was killed in a truck accident in Ontario after a tractor-trailer struck him. According to The San Bernardino County Sun, the fatal collision occurred in the eastbound lanes of the 60 Freeway near Euclid Avenue, the afternoon of September 10, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say they found evidence at the scene suggesting that Becerra was on the shoulder of the freeway changing a tire when the semi hit him. Becerra died at the scene. No arrests or citations have been reported. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Sergio Becerra for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Man Changing Tire Killed in Ontario Truck Accident" »

September 11, 2012

Five Injured in Long Beach Car Accident

Five people, including a 12-year-old, were injured in a car crash in Long Beach after two vehicles collided at a street intersection, the afternoon of September 10, 2012. According to a news article in The Press-Telegram, the injury collision occurred at the intersection of Willow Street and Earl Avenue. Police say a woman who was driving a pickup truck east on Willow tried to turn north into a shopping center parking lot and collided with an Acura that was westbound on Willow.

Multiple Injuries

The impact sent the Acura crashing into a power pole. The 12-year-old girl who was standing on the sidewalk near the pole was apparently struck by debris. She was transported to an area hospital with injuries. Also injured were three men in the Acura, two of whom had to be extricated. None of the injuries is believed to be life threatening. Officials are looking into the cause of the crash.

Continue reading "Five Injured in Long Beach Car Accident" »

September 10, 2012

Bicyclist Seriously Injured in San Diego Delivery Truck Accident

A 74-year-old bicyclist suffered major injuries in a San Diego truck accident after he was run over by a delivery truck in the Sports Arena area. According to a news report in U-T San Diego, the injury collision occurred just after noon on September 7, 2012 on westbound Sports Arena Boulevard near Rosecrans Street. A Dixieline truck, driven by a 41-year-old woman, made a right turn into the Dixieline store on Sports Arena. The woman failed to see the bicyclist and hit him, officials said. The bicyclist was transported to a local hospital with a serious injury to his left leg. The investigation is ongoing.

My heart goes out to this elderly man who was injured in this bicycle accident. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep this injured victim in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Bicyclist Seriously Injured in San Diego Delivery Truck Accident" »

September 7, 2012

Bicyclist Seriously Injured in Temecula Car Accident

Lionel McGee, 18, suffered major injuries in a Temecula car accident after a car struck his bicycle, the night of September 6, 2012. According to a news article in The Press-Enterprise, the injury collision occurred at the intersection of Margarita Road and Rancho California Road. McGee was riding at the intersection when a vehicle that was turning left struck him. McGee suffered serious injuries and was transported to an area hospital. No arrests or citations were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Lionel McGee, who has been severely injured in this crash. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Continue reading "Bicyclist Seriously Injured in Temecula Car Accident" »

September 6, 2012

Young Bicyclist Injured in Sierra Madre Collision

A girl was injured in a Los Angeles County car accident after an SUV struck her bicycle. According to a report in The Pasadena Star-News, the injury collision occurred the morning of September 5, 2012 at the intersection of Laurel and Canon avenues in Sierra Madre. Police say the female driver of a small SUV was making a right turn from Laurel Avenue to Canon Avenue. She saw the bicyclist, but instead of hitting the brakes, she stepped on the gas, officials said. The girl was pinned under the bicycle and suffered several abrasions. The nature and extent of her injuries is not know. The driver of the SUV has not been cited pending the official investigation.

My thoughts and prayers are with the young girl who has been injured in this bicycle accident. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. I truly hope her injuries are not serious.

Continue reading "Young Bicyclist Injured in Sierra Madre Collision" »

September 6, 2012

Skateboarder Injured in Hit-and-Run Accident

August 30, 2012—San Clemente, CA—A 16-year-old skateboarder fell from his board and was run over by a driver who then left the scene of the pedestrian accident, according to NBC News sources.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Ola Vista and Avenida Santa Barbara when a woman driving a gold Lexus ran over Hunter Bogert then dragged him ten or 15 feet. When a witness, Connor Covey, saw the incident, he ran over to the driver and pounded on her window. However, she accelerated, hitting Bogert again, and left the scene.

Bogert received stitches in his stomach, and suffers from a chipped pelvic bone and scrapes on his knees and elbows. Bogert collapsed after attempting to get up and go after the fleeing vehicle. His parents and the police are asking any witnesses with information on the driver, who had Nevada plates on her car, to come forward.

My heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery go out to this young victim.

Pedestrians and Hit-and-Run Drivers—A Deadly Combination

Hit-and-run accidents are quite frequent in cases of pedestrian accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 11 percent of crashes involve drivers hitting pedestrians. Eleven percent of all accidents are also hit-and-run collisions, so the chances of being an injured pedestrian and the chances of being the victim of a hit and run driver are about the same. When the two statistics are combined, the chances of being the victim of a hit-and-run pedestrian accident are around one in five. Hit-and-runs are more common with pedestrian collisions than with other types of vehicle crashes because drivers tend to panic when they hit someone who is walking.

Will This Driver Be Brought To Justice?

Unlike many pedestrian hit-and-runs, this case involves one very good eyewitness. The boy who tried to stop the car actually yelled at the woman through her window and saw her face, so he will be likely to recognize her or a picture of her if he sees it again. Further, there may have been other witnesses, and the fact that the woman had a Nevada license plate will be a good clue. It is more likely that this driver will be found than is normal in a hit-and-run collision.

What Will Happen When the Driver is Found?

Police have already said they intend to charge the driver with felony hit-and-run, but criminal charges are not the only thing she will have to face. An Orange County pedestrian accident lawyer can help the victim and his family recover damages for his pain and suffering as well as his physical injuries.

September 5, 2012

Six Injured in Multi-Vehicle Crash in Woodland Hills

At least six people were injured in a Los Angeles car accident, which officials say involved several vehicles. According to a KABC news report, the injury crash occurred on the eastbound 101 Freeway just past Winnetka Avenue in Woodland Hills, the morning of September 5, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials said that as many as 14 people were involved, but only six were transported to a local hospital. None of the injuries is life threatening. The investigation is ongoing.

My heart goes out to the injured victims of this car accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Six Injured in Multi-Vehicle Crash in Woodland Hills" »

September 5, 2012

Man Pleads Guilty to Wrongful Death of CHP Officer

August 26, 2012—San Bernardino, CA—A man charged with the 2010 car accident that killed a California Highway Patrol officer in Barstow agreed to a plea arrangement with prosecution on Friday.

Rafael Garcia, 20, pled no contest to one count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Other charges against Garcia, including transportation of marijuana, were simultaneously dropped.

Garcia was traveling north on the 15 Freeway when he struck Officer Justin McGrory, who was conducting a traffic stop. McCrory was killed instantly and the other car was also wrecked.

Defense attorneys claimed that Garcia fell asleep prior to the impact.

Sentencing will take place in September. Garcia originally faced 12 years in jail, but with time served will now likely be released in December.

My heartfelt condolences go out to Officer McCrory’s family on this tragic loss.

What Criminal Charges Are Made In A Drunk Driving Fatality Accident?

In California, DUI can be charged in several ways, depending on the circumstances. If you are pulled over and register .08 percent blood alcohol content or higher, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor unless you have more than three prior offenses or you cause serious bodily injury to someone else.

However, if you hurt or kill another person, the charges will likely include a felony. This can be a charge of vehicular manslaughter or second-degree murder depending on the circumstances of the case. A “Watson murder” charge is usually used when the defendant has prior DUI convictions. If it is the defendant’s first DUI, the charge is usually vehicular manslaughter.

Will The Defendant’s Criminal Case Pay Money To The Family?

There is a great misunderstanding about the purpose and scope of a criminal and a civil case. In a criminal case, the focus is on punishing the offender, or making him or her “pay a debt to society.” Criminal charges can result in jail time, unlike civil charges. Fines are often assessed as well, but these usually go to the state rather than the victim’s family, although sometimes reparations are made to victims if something has been stolen.

In a wrongful death case, however, it is not the state’s job to recover damages for the victim’s family. That responsibility falls to a wrongful death attorney who will file a personal injury case against the defendant and attempt to collect damages for the victim’s family.

September 4, 2012

Metro Bus Crash in Los Angeles Leaves Eight Injured

A Los Angeles bus accident involving a Metro bus and a car left eight people injured. According to a KABC news report, the injury crash occurred at the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Spaulding Avenue, the morning of September 2, 2012. Police said the bus that was traveling westbound on Venice Boulevard had a green light at Spaulding Avenue, but an eastbound driver turned in front of the bus. The bus driver was unable to avoid the collision. Emergency personnel took six people from the bus and two from the other vehicle to area hospitals for treatment of injuries. The nature or extent of the victims' injuries is not known. The investigation is ongoing.

My heart goes out to the injured victims of this Los Angeles car accident. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Continue reading "Metro Bus Crash in Los Angeles Leaves Eight Injured" »