Ethan McEnally, 14, was killed in a Huntington Beach car crash, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver who crashed head-on into the vehicle in which the boy was a passenger.
According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the crash occurred the night of June 25, 2015 at the intersection of Newland Street and Slater Avenue.
Officials say Jaime Xahuentit Palacios, 39, was in a Nissan Frontier truck headed south on Newland Street when he crashed into a silver 2004 Toyota Tacoma driven by an 18-year-old man going north on the same street.
McEnally was a passenger and the driver was his cousin. The two were returning home from a family dinner, police said. McEnally was transported to a hospital in critical condition, but died from his injuries.
The 18-year-old man suffered moderate injuries. Palacios was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing great bodily injury and driving without a license.
The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Ethan McEnally for their tragic loss. We also wish the injured teen the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2012 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were four fatalities and 147 injuries reported as a result of DUI collisions in the city of Huntington Beach.
In Orange County as a whole, 56 people died and 1,346 were injured due to alcohol-related collisions.
California Drunk Driver Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver, Palacios, veered into opposing lanes of traffic and crashed into pickup carrying the two teens.
Under California law, it is illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
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. California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
In such cases, DUI drivers in addition to criminal charges, can also be held financially responsible for injuries, damages and losses caused.
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
Victims’ and families would be well advised to contact a skilled Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer who has experience financially pursuing DUI drivers.
The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.