Frenetta Sartor Miller, 42, was killed in a San Bernardino County car accident, which officials say, involved a man who was driving under the influence of alcohol. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred the night of April 14 at the intersection of Highway 395 and Seneca Road at the border of Adelanto and Victorville. The other driver Fernando Pantoja Jr. was heading east on Seneca Road when he failed to halt at the stop sign and broadsided Miller’s blue Nissan.
Both vehicles were propelled into a dirt field east of the intersection. Miller was extricated from her vehicle, but was pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency responders also found a 3-year-old child in Pantoja’s car who was not hurt. Pantoja suffered major injuries and was airlifted to a nearby hospital. He was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Miller’s family members. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
DUI Crash Statistics and Laws
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 257 fatalities and 8,999 injuries reported as a result of traffic accidents in San Bernardino County. Of those, 93 deaths and 1,047 injuries occurred in traffic accidents involving a driver who was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Under California Vehicle Code 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while 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 under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a). It also appears that the other driver, Pantoja, ran a stop sign at that intersection before he struck Miller’s vehicle.
Justice for Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, DUI drivers can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Families of deceased DUI victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship.
Victims or their families would be well advised to contact an experienced San Bernardino DUI victims lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and help ensure that the negligent driver is held financially responsible. This tragic incident in San Bernardino is yet another reminder for everyone to not drink and drive.