A 24-year-old Los Angeles woman was killed and six others were injured in a devastating Los Angeles car crash that involved a driver who was street racing, officials said.
According to a report in Patch.com, the fatal accident occurred at the intersection of Alameda Street and Firestone Boulevard near South Gate midnight on May 26, 2013 around midnight. Police say a 2003 Acura driven by 20-year-old Michael Villalobos, which was southbound on Firestone, ran a red light at Alameda and crashed into a northbound 1997 Honda, driven by the victim.
She was transported to a local hospital where she died. Villalobos's Acura also hit a third car, a 2008 Honda driven by a 50-year-old South Gate woman. That victim suffered serious injuries. Her two passengers, a15-year-old boy and a 16- year-old girl, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Villalobos was arrested and charged with street racing, reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter.
One person died and 322 were injured as a result of car accidents in South Gate, according to California Highway Patrol's 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Los Angeles County as a whole, 530 fatalities and 50,513 injuries were reported due to car crashes during the same year.
Illegal Racing on Public Roadways
Under California law, it is illegal to race a vehicle on a public roadway. California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a) states: "A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device. For purposes of this section, an event in which the time to cover a prescribed route of more than 20 miles is measured, but where the vehicle does not exceed the speed limits, is not a speed contest." In addition, officials also say that the driver arrested in connection with this crash ran a red light at the intersection and struck the victims' vehicles.
Compensation for Victims and Families
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral expenses, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Injured victims can seek damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims or their families would be well advised to contact and experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.