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Bicyclist Injured in Newport Beach DUI Crash


A bicyclist suffered injuries in a DUI collision after being struck near an intersection.

According to a news report in the Daily Pilot, the injury crash occurred the afternoon of May 18, 2014 at Newport Coast Drive and East Coast Highway.

The driver, later identified as 23-year-old William Darnall, failed to stop at the scene. But, witnesses followed him to Pelican Hill Road and Via Burrone where police stopped him.

Officials say Darnall had been drinking. He was arrested on
suspicion of driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run. The bicyclist was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.

It is indeed fortunate that the bicyclist in this case was not seriously injured. I wish the victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. I applaud the witnesses who followed the driver and helped police apprehend the hit-and-run driver.

Crash Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 92 were injured bicycle accidents in the city of Newport Beach.

Countywide, 13 fatalities and 1,315 injuries were reported as a result of bike collisions during the same year. Also, in Orange County as a whole, 51 people died and 1,265 were injured due to DUI crashes in 2011.

Violation of Laws

Based on this news report, it is not clear how the motorist crashed into the bicyclist. However, officials say the driver was under the influence at the time of the collision.

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.”

In addition to driving under the influence, the motorist in this case also fled the scene of an injury accident.

California Vehicle Code 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 involved, injured victims can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

In addition to facing criminal charges, these drivers can also be held liable for the damages in civil court.

Injured victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Newport Beach personal injury lawyer who will fight for their rights and that the at-fault parties are held accountable.

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