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Lake County DUI Collision Causes Major Injuries


A woman who was seriously injured in a DUI collision in Lake County has been identified as 63-year-old Patricia McFarland. The Record-Bee reports that the car accident occurred on June 5, 2010 at the intersection of Soda Bay and Mission Rancheria roads, when 40-year-old Thomas Mello, who was driving a 1990 Ford Explorer, failed to yield right-of-way and made a left turn in front of a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by McFarland. Mello then left the scene. He was later apprehended and charged with driving under the influence, felony hit-and-run and being under the influence of a controlled substance. McFarland sustained major injuries. An investigation is ongoing.

I hope McFarland has not suffered any life-threatening injuries in this crash. I pray that she recover quickly and completely.

Car Accidents

In Lake County, there were 14 fatalities and 292 injuries as a result of car accidents in 2008, according to CHP’s traffic accident statistics. Also, in Lake County as a whole, three people died and 64 were injured as a result of alcohol-related car accidents in 2008.

Left Turn Law

Based on this article, it appears that Mello failed to yield right-of-way to the PT Cruiser. California Vehicle Code Section 21801 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”

If the news report is accurate, officials say Mello was driving under the influence (violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152) and left the scene of the crash (violation of California Vehicle Code 20001).

Liability Issues

A reputed California personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims about their legal rights and options in such cases. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of earnings, hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages.

Should first-time DUI offenders be required to install Ignition Interlock Devices in their vehicles?

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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