Two men traveling in a golf cart were killed after a driver, who officials say was under the influence, rear-ended them.
According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal DUI crash occurred the afternoon of November 18, 2015 at the intersection of Desert Moon and Colonial drives in the Tri-Palm Estates community.
California Highway Patrol officials say 32-year-old Angela Lavanty was driving her 2006 Mercedes ML350 SUV north on Desert Moon Drive and pulled directly behind
the golf cart, which was legally driving within the community, occupied by two people and two dogs.
The speed limit on that street is 25 mph.
But officials say Lavanty was driving at more than 50 mph when she hit the golf cart from behind. The 76-year-old man driving the golf cart and his passenger died at the scene as did both dogs. Lavanty has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of DUI causing great bodily injury.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of the two men who were tragically killed in this suspected DUI crash. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Riverside County DUI Crashes
According to CHP’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 28 fatalities and 248 injuries reported as a result of DUI collisions in the unincorporated areas of Riverside County.
Also, countywide, 90 people died and 867 were injured due to DUI crashes during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Mercedes, Lavanty, was under the influence when she rear-ended the golf cart at twice the posted speed limit. It appears that the driver violated DUI and basic speed laws. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
When drivers seriously injure or kill someone else when they operate under the influence, they not only face criminal charges, but can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused.
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased DUI victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
An experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.