Luis Torres, 15, a Santa Ana student, was killed in a car accident on the 57 Freeway early morning on September 4, 2016. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal accident occurred on the freeway just north of the Yorba Linda Boulevard off-ramp. Torres was sitting the back of a 2009 Honda that was stopped on the shoulder of the freeway in Fullerton. A woman driving a 2015 Honda swerved off the freeway lanes and onto the shoulder, striking the 2009 Honda.
Torres was in the left rear seat and died of head injuries. A woman, identified as Jennifer Baca, sitting in the stopped Honda, also suffered fractured ribs and sternum as a result of the crash. Two other people standing outside the stopped car when the crash occurred were not injured. The driver of the 2015 Honda, 28-year-old Nicole Cortinas of Moreno Valley, suffered a broken back, but was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Luis Torres, a sophomore at Century High School, who was by all accounts a beloved son, student and friend. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 92 injuries reported in the city of Fullerton as a result of DUI collisions. In Orange County as a whole, 60 people died and 1,235 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes during the same year. DUI collisions also tend to increase during the holiday weekends. CHP officials reported that traffic accidents killed at least 30 people in California during the first two and a half days of the Labor Day weekend and 2,017 people were arrested statewide in suspicion of driving under the influence.
Holding DUI Drivers Accountable
The law prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This incident that took the life of a young, vibrant, talented teen reminds us of the scourge drunk driving is in our society. DUI drivers, in addition to facing criminal charges, can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause.
Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation to cover medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. Injured victims can also seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income and other damages. An experienced DUI accident victim lawyer in Orange County will be able to advice injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.