Mario Antonio Flores Topete, 20, was killed in a San Bernardino car accident after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing the road. According to a news report in The San Bernardino County Sun, the fatal pedestrian collision occurred in the 2000 block of North Sierra Way the morning of August 15, 2010. Topete was hit by a 2000 Chevy pickup truck driven by 20-year-old Augustine Ramirez, who initially drove away from the scene. He was later arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony drunk driving.
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My condolences go out to the family and friends of Mario Antonio Flores Topete for their tremendous loss. My thoughts and prayers are with them after this tragic accident.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), three fatalities and 80 injuries were reported in 2008 involving pedestrian accidents in San Bernardino. During the same year, countywide, 39 people died and 432 were injured as a result of pedestrian accidents.
Based on this news report, Ramirez was not only driving under the influence, but also left the scene of the crash, leaving behind a critically injured victim, lying on the roadway. If this account is accurate, then, this individual has shown not just a callous disregard for the safety of other road users, but also was responsible for the morally reprehensible and unlawful act of seriously injuring a person and fleeing the scene. California Vehicle Code 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.” Driving under the influence is also a serious crime under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a).
A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges, as Ramirez does in this case. California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
In such cases, injured victims or families of deceased victims would be well-advised to contact an experienced San Bernardino car accident lawyer, who will stay on top of the investigation and make sure that the negligent parties are held accountable. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages.
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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.