Taylor Marie Moss, 19, sustained critical injuries and is not expected to survive after a Los Angeles car accident involving a drunk driver who was going the wrong way on Highway 101 in Encino, the Ventura County Star reports. Hector J. Ortiz, 27, was apparently driving his car the wrong way on the northbound 101 near White Oak Avenue early morning on November 1, 2009 when he collided with Moss’ car. Moss’ two passengers were also injured and are said to be recovering at home. Ortiz has been charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and for driving under the influence causing death and injury.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Taylor Marie Moss for their sudden, heartbreaking and untimely loss. I offer my deepest sympathies to them. Shortly before the crash this exuberant teenager was out with friends enjoying Halloween. Now, her family is faced with having to decide on harvesting her organs and raising money for her funeral. Tragic! The Moss family will certainly be in my prayers.
Los Angeles DUI Car Accidents
In 2007, there were 94 fatalities and 2,392 injuries reported as a result of alcohol-related California car accidents in the city of Los Angeles, according to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). Countywide, alcohol-related car accidents claimed 268 lives and injured 5,169 people in 2007. Overall, there were 712 fatalities and 56,475 injuries as a result of all car accidents in Los Angeles County during the same period.
If Ortiz is determined to have been drunk at the time of the crash (I doubt it will be proven otherwise), he must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I shudder to think just how impaired this man must have been to not realize that he was driving on the wrong side of the freeway. Unfortunately, we see this happen way too often in DUI car accidents and it is invariably other motorists and innocent people who end up as victims.
California Drunk Driving Laws
It is of course illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the state of California. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “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.”
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims could file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical/funeral expenses, lost wages and other related damages. A reputed Los Angeles personal injury lawyer with a winning record of handling DUI car accident cases will be able to guide the Moss family through what can be a complex process and advise them about their legal rights and options. If Ortiz is uninsured or underinsured, a skilled attorney should help Moss’ family seek compensation through the uninsured/underinsured clause of their car insurance policy.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.