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Girl Injured in Whittier Hit-and-Run Car Accident

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Lany Castillo, 3, was critically injured in a Los Angeles car accident, which officials say involved a drunk driver who fled the scene. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the DUI collision occurred on Mulberry Drive at Laurel Avenue in Whittier, the afternoon of January 13, 2012. Officials say Matthew Parker, 25, of Garden Grove, was intoxicated and speeding when he drove his Toyota Highlander through a red light and crashed into a Toyota Corolla. Lany suffered major head trauma in the crash and was transported to a nearby hospital. Her grandmother, Estella Garcia, suffered major injuries as well, while her grandfather, Jorge Garcia, 55, sustained relatively minor injuries. Officials arrested Parker shortly after the incident and charged him with felony drunk driving and felony hit-and-run.

My thoughts and prayers are with Lany Castillo and her grandparents following this terrible hit-and-run car incident. I wish them the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.

DUI Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), two people were killed and 47 were injured in DUI collisions in the city of Whittier. Throughout Los Angeles County, there were 204 fatalities and 4,672 injuries reported involving alcohol-related crashes, during the same year.

Violations of the Law

Based on the news report, Parker was under the influence of alcohol here, as he exceeded the speed limit and ran a red light. Additionally, he left two of his victims with major injuries and failed to remain at the crash site, offer assistance or notify the authorities. Unconscionable! Drivers are legally required to remain at the scene of an injury accident.

California Vehicle Code Section 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 illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), and running a red light is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a).

Liability Issues

In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, victims would be well advised to retain the services of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will fight for their rights and hold the at-fault parties accountable. Injured victims or their families can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. A knowledgeable car accident attorney will also advise victims in such cases about how their own car insurance policy applies to an incident 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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