Dondi Allen Quimby, 42, was killed in a San Bernardino County car accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal DUI crash occurred on Lytle Creek Road in Lytle Creek during the early morning hours of July 22, 2012. Officials say Quimby was pushing a bicycle on a narrow shoulder when a 1997 Ford Thunderbird struck him. He suffered fatal injuries in the crash. The 22-year-old driver, Matthew Harry Eldridge of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested and booked on suspicion felony drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Dondi Allen Quimby following this tragic pedestrian accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
San Bernardino DUI Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 28 people were killed and 232 were injured as a result of DUI crashes in the unincorporated portions of San Bernardino County. Throughout San Bernardino County, 98 fatalities and 945 injuries were reported due to alcohol-related collisions during that same year.
Fatal Drunk Driving Crashes
Based on this news report, the 22-year-old driver responsible for the crash was under the influence at the time. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), motorists are prohibited from operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges, as Eldridge 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.”
In this particular case, the family of the deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost future income, funeral costs and loss of love and companionship. In addition, a knowledgeable San Bernardino personal injury lawyer will be able to look into whether a dangerous condition on the roadway may have caused or contributed to this incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Please remember that any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a public entity must be filed within six months of the incident. 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.