Brian Ewalt, 33, sustained critical injuries in a Bakersfield car accident after a suspected drunk driver collided with his vehicle. According to a news report in The Bakersfield Californian, the accident occurred just past midnight on January 22, 2010. Robert Helfrich, 22 was going west on State Route 58 near Tehachapi Boulevard when he lost control of his 2002 Ford pickup truck, crossed over the center median into opposing lanes of traffic and crashed into an eastbound Mitsubishi SUV.
Brian Ewalt was the driver of the SUV. His wife, 29-year-old Kimberly Ewalt and son, Orson, 1, were passengers in the SUV. Brian Ewalt sustained major injuries in the accident and was transported to an area hospital. Helfrich suffered minor injuries and was arrested at the scene on suspicion of felony drunk driving.
My heart goes out to this family for what they are going through at this time. I hope Kimberly and Orson Ewalt did not sustain any major injuries. I hope and pray that Brian Ewalt recovers quickly and completely from his injuries. This family will certainly be in my prayers.
There were eight fatalities and 141 injuries reported in Bakersfield as a result of DUI car accidents in 2007, according to California Highway Patrol’s traffic accident statistics. In Kern County as a whole, alcohol-related traffic accidents claimed 42 lives and injured 507 people during the same year.
DUI Laws and Liability Issues
Driving under the influence is a serious crime in 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.” The same section also states that it is illegal in California to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. If Helfrich is determined to have been under the influence, he should be held criminally and civilly responsible for Ewalt’s injuries.
In this case, the Ewalt family would be well-advised to contact a reputed Bakersfield personal injury lawyer, who has an excellent track record of financially pursuing drunk drivers and holding them accountable. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise injured victims and their families about how their car insurance policy applies to an incident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.
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.