San Bernardino County Fatal DUI Rear-End Accident
Margarita Rodriguez-Dominguez, a 40-year-old woman, died in a Rialto car accident the morning of April 5, 2009 after the vehicle she was a passenger in was struck by a suspected drunk driver involved in a police chase. According to a news report in the San Bernardino Sun, San Bernardino patrol officers observed a 1994 Lincoln Towncar engage in a traffic violation at the street intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Rancho Avenue. When officials attempted to pull over the driver, he did not stop. The pursuit continued into Rialto, where it ended after the driver rear-ended a 1991 Honda Accord that was about to make a left turn onto Foothill Boulevard from Riverside Avenue.
Rodriguez-Dominguez was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Honda Accord and two other passengers sustained moderate injuries and were taken to a local hospital. The driver of the Towncar, 19-year-old Johnny Morales, was arrested and charged with murder.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Margarita Rodriguez-Dominguez, who was tragically killed because of the recklessness and negligence of this person who decided to get drunk and get behind the wheel. I offer my deepest sympathies to them. Not only did the teen driver, Johnny Morales, drink and drive. He broke the law and evaded police officers when they tried to stop him. I trust that he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
California law (V.C. section 23152) prohibits drivers from operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were eight auto accident fatalities in Rialto in 2007 out of which four were alcohol-related. In San Bernardino County, in 2007, there were 308 fatal crashes out of which 105 were alcohol-related.
The family of Margarita Rodriguez-Dominguez would be well-advised to consult a reputed San Bernardino car accident attorney, who is experienced in handling DUI accident cases for victims. A skilled California personal injury attorney will determine if other factors were involved here that could have caused or contributed to the crash and also explain how the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be applied to compensate the victim.