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Newport Beach Woman Arrested in Drunken Texting Crash in Riverside

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A Newport Beach woman has been arrested in connection with causing a car accident in Riverside, which officials say involved alcohol, speeding, texting and making an unsafe lane change. According to The Press-Enterprise, the injury collision occurred on Highway 91 near Magnolia Avenue. California Highway Patrol officials say 27-year-old Teresa Lynn Hyde was speeding westbound in her Lexus IS300 on August 19, 2012, when she sideswiped a 1997 Ford Expedition SUV as she changed lanes.

Hyde’s vehicle crashed and flipped over as she tried to flee the scene. Both women in the Expedition were injured. Officers say Hyde was texting while driving. She was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and felony hit-and-run. She apparently has at least a dozen traffic violations on her record in Orange County including a 2009 DUI conviction.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the two injured victims of this hit-and-run collision. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Riverside County DUI Statistics

According to CHP’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were seven fatalities and 148 injuries involving DUI crashes in the city of Riverside. Countywide, alcohol-related collisions claimed 69 lives and injured 930 people, during the same year.

Several Violations

Based on this news report, it appears that this driver committed a number of traffic violations. Officials say she was driving distracted (texting while driving), which is illegal under California law. She was under the influence at the time, which is a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152. In addition, she was traveling 25 miles over the speed limit and attempted an unsafe lane change. To top it all, she tried to leave the scene of an injury crash. Leaving the scene of an accident is not only an inhumane and irresponsible act, but it is also illegal.

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 clearly a factor, injured victims would be well advised to retain the services of an experienced Riverside personal injury attorney, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. Car accident victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. For more information about the dangers of distracted driving, please visit http://www.distraction.gov/.

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