Kyung Namgoong, 53, of Buena Park, was killed in an Anaheim car accident, which officials say involved a suspected drunk driver who was traveling the wrong way on the freeway. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal car accident occurred during the early morning hours of January 29, 2012 on the westbound 91 Freeway at Coal Canyon, in Anaheim.
California Highway Patrol officials say the Toyota Camry, in which Namgoong was a passenger, was struck by a wrong-way driver identified as 23-year-old Ruben Gurrola. He has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The driver of the Camry, a 58-year-old Buena Park man, and the 24-year-old female passenger in Gurrola’s Honda Civic, were transported to local hospitals with traumatic injuries.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Kyung Namgoong for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. My thoughts and prayers are also with the injured victims of this crash. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Car Accident Statistics
According to CHP’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), Anaheim car accidents caused 23 fatalities and injured 1,970 injuries people. During the same year, 141 people died and 13,373 were injured in Orange County car accidents.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, Gurrola was under the influence at the time of the crash. 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).
If Gurrola is determined to have been at fault, in addition to facing criminal charges, he can be held civilly liable for Namgoong’s wrongful death and for injuries and damages caused to other victims. Injured victims and families of deceased victims in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Anaheim personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.