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Bicyclist Killed in Huntington Beach Hit-and-Run Crash

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Roger Michael Lippman, 63, was killed in a Huntington Beach car accident involving a suspected drunk driver who left the scene of the crash. According to The Orange County Register, the fatal DUI collision occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint Street and Warner Avenue, the morning of June 22, 2012. Officials say Joel Alexander Murphy, 27, was under the influence when he crashed his silver Hyundai into Lippman and drove away. Lippman was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Murphy was tracked down after being involved in another collision near Westminster Boulevard and Kitts Highway. He now faces three felony charges including hit-and-run, driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Roger Michael Lippman following this tragic bicycle accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Orange County DUI Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), four people were killed and 141 were injured in Huntington Beach DUI collisions in 2009. During that same year, there were 62 fatalities and 1,340 injuries as a result of alcohol-related crashes, countywide.

Violation of laws

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver, Murphy, was under the influence when he struck Lippman. He also fled the scene of the crash leaving the critically injured bicyclist lying on the roadway without care or medical attention, exposed to further danger. Murphy then caused another collision, officials say. Appalling! Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal 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 under California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a). 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.”

Liability Issues

In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits, and loss of love and companionship. Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Huntington Beach car accident lawyer, who has a proven track record of holding drunk drivers financially liable. 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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