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DUI Collision Near SeaWorld Causes Injuries

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Five people, including a 3-year-old and a 4-month-old, were injured in a San Diego car accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver, the afternoon of January 8, 2012. According to a news report in UT San Diego, the injury collision occurred on a bridge over the San Diego River on West Mission Bay Drive. Police say a silver Mazda driven by 29-year-old Kaleb Clark hit a sedan carrying a woman and two children. The woman’s car then struck another vehicle.

Five people were transported to the hospital, but only the 3-year-old and a passenger in Clark’s car were seriously injured, officials said. The 3 year-old sustained a broken leg and loose teeth while the passenger suffered serious, nonfatal injuries after hitting the car’s windshield. Clark rode with a friend, in an ambulance, to the hospital and then fled. Police are asking Clark to turn himself in as soon as possible. An investigation is ongoing.

My heart goes out to all the injured victims of this crash. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

DUI Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 27 people died and 748 were injured in DUI collisions in San Diego. Also, countywide, 103 fatalities occurred and 1,754 people were injured due to alcohol-related crashes, during the same year.

Violation of Laws

Based on this news report, it is not clear how the collision occurred. Officials say Clark was drunk at the time of the incident and that he left the scene. 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.” Leaving the scene of a crash is also illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a).

Holding Drivers Accountable

Injured hit-and-run victims would be well advised to contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of holding drunk drivers accountable. A knowledgeable accident attorney will also be able to inform injured victims about how their own auto insurance policy applies to an incident where a hit-and-run driver is involved, or, in a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.

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