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Orange County Car Accident Caused by Drunk Driver, Officials Say

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Ten people were injured in an Orange County car accident involving three vehicles, which officials say was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the crash occurred the evening of January 14, 2010 at Lewis Street and Metropolitan Drive in the city of Orange, when a minivan going north on Lewis collided with a blue Honda Civic that was traveling east on Metropolitan. The van then crashed into an OCTA bus with 15 passengers on board.

At Least 10 Injured

Three bus passengers and seven people in the van and the Honda Civic sustained injuries. All the injured victims were transported to area hospitals. However, none of them sustained life-threatening injuries. Police arrested Yonic Serafin Cardenas Patino, 21, the driver of the minivan, on suspicion of felony drunk driving. Patino was also apparently driving on a suspended license, was on probation for driving under the influence and had an arrest warrant for a suspended license. The Register also reports that Patino had a DUI and hit-and-run conviction in 2008.

DUI Accidents and the Law

My heart goes out to the injured victims in this drunk driving accident, who were clearly hurt as a result of this man’s negligence and disregard for the safety of others. It’s clear to anyone who looks at his record that he had no business being behind the wheel. He put his own life and the lives of everyone in the minivan and others on the road in serious jeopardy. It’s indeed fortunate he did not catastrophically injure or kill someone. I wish all the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. They will be in my prayers.

Under California law, it is a serious crime to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 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.” Apparently, this incident involves a repeat DUI offender.

How An Experienced Injury Lawyer Can Help

Injured victims in such cases would be well-advised to consult an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will be able to better explain their legal rights and options. Given Patino’s past record and the fact that he had a suspended license, I would be surprised if he has car insurance. An experienced car accident lawyer will also advise victims about how a claim for compensation may be made through their car insurance policy in cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.

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.

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