A man was killed in a Los Angeles pedestrian accident after he was struck by a suspected drunk driver early morning on May 24, 2009, CBS News reports. The pedestrian, who has not yet been identified, was walking across Vernon Avenue at Central when he was hit by a minivan driven by 50-year-old Jose Luis Gonzalez Guzman. Guzman was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
My heart goes out to the family of the pedestrian accident victim who apparently died because of this driver’s negligence. I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this victim. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were 94 fatalities and 2,392 personal injuries involving alcohol-related car crashes in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles County as a whole, there were 268 deaths and 5,169 personal injuries from alcohol-related traffic accidents in 2007.
It is illegal in the state of California to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher or driving under the influence of controlled substances. California Vehicle Code section 23152 (a) states: “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”
A driver whose driving under the influence results in the death of another could face vehicular manslaughter charges. California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
In this particular case, it seems that the victim was crossing at an intersection, which means the motorist should have yielded right-of-way to the pedestrian. Guzman should be held civilly and criminally responsible for the victim’s death. The victim’s family would be well advised to consult with reputed California pedestrian accident attorneys who have the experience and a successful track record of pursuing drunk drivers. The victim’s family should be eligible to receive compensation for funeral expenses, loss of wages, loss of love and companionship and other related damages.