A contract worker for the Los Angeles International Airport was run over by a driver, who officials say, was under the influence. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the incident occurred early morning on November 7, 2013 at the intersection of Sepulveda and Century boulevards near the tunnels that head into the airport. Police said the worker was contracted by the city to change the streetlights at the location and was walking through the tunnel when a pickup truck collided with another vehicle that was towing a warning trailer.
Recently in Drunk Driving Accidents Category
Joey Nungaray, 27, was killed in a Westminster car accident, which officials say, involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection Brookhurst Street and McFadden Avenue. Police say a Nissan Frontier truck, which was traveling south, broadsided a Honda Civic that was westbound. Investigators say one of the vehicles ran a red light, but have not determined which driver committed the violation.
A pedestrian suffered injuries to his legs after, officials say, a driver who was under the influence and was talking on his cell phone crashed into a parked car pushing it into a man standing in front of it. According to a news report in The Daily Breeze, the injury collision occurred the night of July 26, 2013, near the intersection of Rosecrans and Avis avenues. Police say Nima Vandordaklou, 31, was driving west in his gray 2009 Honda when he crashed into a Mercedes-Benz S320 parked on the south side of Rosecrans. The collision pushed the Mercedes into a man pinning him against the rear of another parked car.
Philip Ruiz, Jr., 20, was killed in a Santa Monica car accident after the vehicle in which he was a passenger was struck by a wrong-way driver, who officials suspect, was under the influence. According to a news report in City News Service, the fatal DUI collision occurred on the 10 Freeway at Centinela Avenue early morning on June 28, 2013. California Highway Patrol officials say say 23-year-old Jaime Herrera was driving a 2005 Pontiac GTO east in the westbound lanes of the freeway and struck a 1997 Ford Taurus head-on. Ruiz, who was a passenger in the Taurus driven by 18-year-old Edgar Quiroz, died at the scene.
Eight vehicles were involved in a pileup on the 14 Freeway in Agua Dulce, which left 12 people injured. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the injury collision occurred the afternoon of June 17, 2013 near the Escondido Canyon Road exit. Three people were seriously injured in the crash, which was caused by a wrong-way driver. The driver of a pickup was traveling south on the northbound 14 Freeway and plowed head-on into another vehicle triggering the massive pileup. One car overturned and another had a pole thrust through its window. Investigators suspect that the driver of the pickup truck was under the influence at the time.
Police in Chicago have arrested 44-year-old Lisa Elner on suspicion of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a Jan. 26 fatal DUI crash that killed two other women - Michelle Miranda, 37, and Sandra Frankum, 36. According to a news report in The Chicago Tribune, Miranda and Frankum were killed when the SUV in which they were traveling fell at least 50 feet from Harlem Avenue in Lyons to Canal Bank Drive in Summit. Elner, the alleged driver of the SUV, faces charges of failure to report an accident involving death, aggravated driving under the influence involving death, possession of cocaine, and other traffic charges.
Police say Elner was silent about the accident hours later when she was found walking near the entrance ramp to southbound Interstate 55 at Harlem Avenue. Elner, who was also seriously injured in the crash, was taken to a local hospital for treatment and told officials she was walking home from a bar, but told them nothing about the crash.
Failure to Report Deadly Crash
The overturned SUV was discovered about five hours after police found Elner. Piecing together evidence, police determined that the southbound SUV was approaching the I-55 ramp when it lost control, jumped a curb and crashed through a barrier before plunging down to the road below. Apparently, no one called 911 after it happened.
Based on this news report, officials say Elner allegedly survived the 50-foot plunge, but left her passengers in the vehicle for hours without care or medical attention. The article states that it was several hours before the vehicle was even found. Had the women obtained medical attention earlier, it is possible that they would have survived. Drivers have a responsibility to report any crash they are involved in right away to police and help injured victims. This help could be something as simple as calling 911.
Protecting Victims' Rights
Victims of DUI and hit-and-run crashes have rights. Families that have lost loved ones as a result of someone else's negligence and wrongdoing can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Victims' families would also be well advised to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight for their rights and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.
February 7, 2013--Lakewood, California--A 25-year-old man who has a previous conviction for felony DUI was arrested and charged with murder after being involved in a fatal crash while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, according to the Los Angeles Times. The suspect is also charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, causing bodily injury and theft of a vehicle.
The crash occurred on State Route 330 near State Route 18 when the driver rolled his vehicle, ejecting a female passenger from the car. The 18-year-old girl died of her injuries and the suspect was arrested on suspicion of DUI Murder. Two other passengers were injured in the crash.
Investigators later learned that the suspect had already been involved in a fatal DUI collision in 2009 and had been convicted of felony DUI, a charge usually made when alcohol is involved in a crash with injuries or fatalities. He was re-arrested for the current charges with murder being added.
California DUI Laws Provide Escalating Penalties
While a first-time DUI offense is normally a misdemeanor, California law provides prosecutors with a way to enhance charges and sentencing if the driver injures or kills someone or leaves the scene of an accident. In those cases, drivers can be charged with felonies up to and including murder, as in the present case. This gives prosecutors the flexibility to match the charge to the offense. If an offender has already killed someone in a DUI accident, it is far more appropriate to charge that individual with a more serious crime than if the person is a first-time offender who has not caused any damage or injury.
How Big Is the DUI Problem?
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs continues to be a major problem for Californians. According to the Century Council, 2010 saw 791 drunk driving fatalities on California highways, 94 of which were victims under the age of 21. More than 71 percent of these drivers had blood alcohol contents of .15 or more, twice the legal limit for intoxication.
These grim statistics are tempered by the fact that California has seen a reduction of 27 percent in overall DUI fatalities since 2000 and a 53 percent reduction in fatalities of victims under 21 years of age. Better DUI education may be responsible for these encouraging numbers, but the fact is that DUI remains one of the biggest killers of people of all ages in the state.
What Should I Do If I Am The Victim of a Drunk Driver?
If you are involved in a crash with a drunk driver, it is important for you to protect your rights. Whether or not the criminal justice system brings the driver to justice, you will still have to collect compensation for your medical bills, your living expenses and other costs. You are also entitled to payment for the pain and suffering you endure as a result of the collision. A personal injury attorney can help you collect these damages.
A 30-year-old man was killed in a Sacramento crash, which officials say, was caused by aspiring model and mother of two, 24-year-old Reena Ashlie Sanchez. According to a news report in The Sacramento Bee, the fatal DUI collision occurred on El Camino Avenue near Colfax Street. Police say Sanchez was driving intoxicated with her two young children in the back seat. Officials say four men were traveling west on El Camino Avenue in an SUV early morning on Feb. 3, 2013 when their vehicle was rear-ended by Sanchez's sedan, which they say, was traveling at a high rate of speed.
One person was injured in a drunk driving crash after a suspected DUI driver ran a red light and struck another vehicle. According to a news report in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Andrew Castro, 25, of San Dimas was driving east on Route 66 and Compromise Line the afternoon of January 28, 2013 when he ran a red light at the intersection and struck another car carrying two people. One of the people in the other car suffered neck injuries and was transported to an area hospital. Castro was arrested and charged with felony driving under the influence.
A police officer was injured in a collision with a driver suspected of being under the influence, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The officer was driving his marked patrol car when he was struck by a pickup truck at the driver's door. The accident occurred early in the morning at the intersection of Mission Gorge Road and Route 125 in Santee.
The officer was said to be seriously injured in the collision. Witnesses stated that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed, and rescue workers from the fire department were forced to cut the car door open to extract the officer. The driver of the pickup was not seriously hurt in the accident and was booked on a charge of suspected felony drunk driving.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the injured officer for his speedy recovery.
High-Speed Collisions A Common Feature of DUI Accidents
According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System of the California Highway Patrol, there were 1,072 fatalities and 24,343 injuries caused by drunk driving in the state in 2011. At least 7,800 of these accidents involved drivers simply traveling in a straight line with no immediate obstructions or impairments to cause a collision. A great number of these drivers are speeding at the time of an accident. Even more drivers who speed run off the road or commit some other error that leads to serious consequences for themselves and others on the road.
Criminal Issues in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drivers who operate vehicles under the influence are breaking the law. In California, drivers who operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content measured at more than .08 percent are considered to be driving drunk. Drivers with BACs of more than .15 percent are considered to be exceptionally drunk, and different charges may be entered against these drivers.
Drivers who injure someone else while driving drunk are usually charged with felony DUI. Those who damage property are usually charged with misdemeanor DUI. However, depending on the circumstances of the accident, a driver who is driving with a very high BAC may still incur a felony charge despite the fact that only property damage occurred.
Liability Issues in Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk drivers not only commit a crime, they also show disregard for the safety of others. Because drunk driving is completely preventable, judges and juries show little sympathy when faced with a driver who chose to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel, doing damages to property and causing injuries to innocent parties. In these cases, victims often file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver to pay for the damages they have sustained.
A victim in a drunk driving accident is entitled to damages that may include special damages awarded as the result of the driver's negligence in driving while under the influence. A personal injury attorney can explain these damages to the victim and help him or her recover the proper amount.
A new California survey shows that one in seven drivers who volunteered as study subjects had drugs (legal or illegal) in their system. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the 2012 California Roadside Survey of Nighttime Weekend Drivers' Alcohol and Drug Use points to the fact that more drivers tested positive for drugs, especially marijuana, than for alcohol. This is apparently the first roadside survey of its kind, which law enforcement officials say, points to a serious and growing threat. Among the 1,314 California drivers included in the survey, 2.7 percent were under the influence of an illegal drug, about 3.3 percent were under the influence of medications only and 5.5 percent had marijuana in their systems.
November 14, 2012—Ontario, California—A woman who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel crashed into a street sweeper in Ontario on Wednesday, injuring herself and the passenger in her car, according to the Continue reading "DUI Suspect Hits Ontario Street Sweeper" »
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.
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.
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.