Police have arrested 43-year-old Alex Trujillo of Garden Grove in connection with a DUI hit-and-run bicycle accident in Seal Beach on October 12, 2008. The fatal bicycle accident killed mom Cathy Busse and injured her 14-year-old autistic son, Sam. The tragic 10/12/08 accident occurred when Busse and her son were riding their bicycles on Lampson Avenue east of Seal Beach Boulevard. Our source for this blog is this Orange County Register news report.
Busse was taken to the hospital with critical injuries and died shortly after the collision. Sam was treated and released for minor injuries. Trujillo underwent surgery for injuries from the collision, but was arrested as soon as he was released from the hospital. He faces charges of murder and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Seal Beach Police are also seeking more witnesses to this horrific accident. Anyone with more information is asked to call Seal Beach Police investigator Steve Chauncey at 562-799-4100, extension 1606.
There is no question that this is a heartbreaking loss for the Busse family. Not to mention to young Sam, who looked up to his mom as a hero and best friend, according to several news reports. The Busse family will remain in my prayers.
Drunk driving accident deaths are a sad reality in Orange County. According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were a total of 199 traffic accident related deaths in Orange County in 2006. Out of those, 80 involved someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
California Vehicle Code Section 23593 (a) states that when a person has had prior DUI convictions he or she may be advised by a court that they could be charged with murder in a future fatal DUI accident. This vehicle code section states that court shall advise a person convicted of DUI as follows:
“You are hereby advised that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to human life to driver while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both. If you continue to driver while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and, as a result of that driving, someone is killed, you can be charged with murder.”
This incident shows that Trujillo had an alcohol problem and not only refused to do anything about it, but continued to drive under the influence. Trujillo has shown an absolute disregard for public safety in spite of at least one prior DUI arrest that ended in a conviction.
I hope Trujillo is brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Busse’s family should certainly consider retaining an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney, who will ensure that Sam Busse’s legal rights are protected and that the family members get the compensation they rightfully deserve.