David Houser, 43, and Yvette Houser, 39, of Simi Valley and two other passengers suffered injuries in an October 2, 2008 hit-and-run auto accident after a suspected drunk driver crashed into their car head-on on Highway 118. According to an article in the Ventura County Star, 45-year-old Brandon Nizdil of Camarillo was arrested a few hours after he fled the scene of the crash. Nizdil was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and felony driving under the influence of alcohol charges.
The 10/2/08 accident occurred as Nizdil was traveling south on Price Road toward Highway 118 West when he made a wide right turn onto the Highway 118 East, colliding with the Houser’s car. Yvette Houser, 39, suffered major internal injuries and is now listed in stable condition. David Houser, 43, was taken to an area hospital with complaints of pain. Two girl passengers were also taken to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries.
I’m relieved that no one was killed in this head-on collision and wish David and Yvette Houser a speedy recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), there were 31 alcohol related traffic accident fatalities in Ventura County and 493 injuries as a result of DUI accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 25 percent of drivers who were involved in fatal car crashes had ingested alcohol and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.21, twice the legal limit in all states. Additionally, in 2003, in alcohol-related fatal injuries, 33 percent of drivers were operating with a BAC of more than 0.08.
Nizdil must be held criminally and civilly responsible for the accident and injuries of the Houser family. Not only did Nizdil make the decision to get behind the wheel drunk, but he also fled the scene of the accident. Statistics from DUI and hit-and-run accidents from Los Angeles and Orange County law enforcement agencies have historically shown that a majority of drivers who leave the scene of a crash are found to be driving under the influence or are on probation or have a pending warrant for their arrest.
The Housers would be well advised to retain the services of an experienced Southern California personal injury lawyer who will fight for and protect their legal rights. Also keep in mind that if the responsible party does not have insurance or does not have sufficient insurance, you can still seek compensation from your own insurance. Accident victims who have uninsured and underinsured coverage should be covered by their own auto insurance.