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Toddler Killed in Fresno DUI Collision

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Angel Lopez, 4, was killed in a car accident in Fresno the night of July 23, 2010, which officials say, involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Fresno Bee, 32-year-old Rodolfo Rangle, driving a 1994 Toyota east on Avenue 440, ran a stop sign at Road 120 and collided with a 2001 Dodge driven by 55-year-old Evelyn Hernandez. California Highway Patrol officials arrested Rangle on suspicion of drunk driving.

Angel Lopez, who was a passenger in the Toyota was seriously injured in the crash. The boy was transported to an area hospital where he died later that day. Rangle sustained minor injuries. Hernandez complained of pain while her passengers, 14-year-old Destiny Raygoza and 60-year-old Alice Hernandez, sustained minor to moderate injuries.

I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Angel Lopez for their devastating loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

DUI Statistics in Fresno

Seventeen deaths and 177 injuries were reported due to DUI collisions in Fresno in 2008, according to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). Countywide, during the same year, 55 fatalities and 444 injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same year.

Violation of Several Laws

Driving under the influence is a serious crime under California law. 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.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).

Running a stop sign is also a traffic violation. California law requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”

Liability Issues

Based on this report, it is not clear whether the child, Angel Lopez, is related to the driver, Rangle. Generally, in such cases, the at-fault driver can be held criminally and civilly liable for wrongful death and injuries caused. Injured victims or their families would be well-advised to consult with an experienced Fresno personal injury lawyer, who will advise them about their legal rights and options. For more information about the dangers of drunk driving, please visit MADD’s web site at www.madd.org.

Are you in favor of a law that mandates the installation of Ignition Interlock Devices for first-time DUI offenders?

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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