Rosemary Webb, 76, and Toni Webb, 43, died in a Riverside car accident involving a suspected drunk driver, City News Service reports. Steven Samuel Chavez, 23, was driving a Toyota sedan the night of July 12, 2009 when he hit a Dodge pickup truck carrying five people on the 10 Freeway near Coachella, California Highway Patrol officials said. Both cars spun out of control and rolled over in the center median.
Toni Webb, who officials say was not buckled up, was ejected onto the roadway and died at the scene. Rosemary Webb was apparently wearing a seatbelt, but died from the impact of the car crash. Elaina Tomlin, 45, was hospitalized with major injuries while 53-year-old Kenneth Webb, the driver of the Dodge, and a 12-year-old girl sustained minor injuries. Chavez was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Rosemary and Toni Webb for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my heartfelt sympathies to them. I also wish the injured victims the very best for a quick and complete recovery. Please keep this family in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 15 injuries involving alcohol-related car accidents in Coachella. In Riverside County as a whole, 129 deaths and 1,279 injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related car crashes in 2007.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a serious violation of California law. In cases where critical injuries or fatalities are involved, the suspected drunk driver could face vehicular manslaughter or murder charges. California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) states: “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.” The same code section also states that it is illegal for any person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more to drive a vehicle.
The family of Rosemary and Toni Webb as well as the injured victims, would be well-advised to consult with a reputed California car accident attorney, who is particularly experienced in handling drunk driving cases. If it turns out that this driver did not have auto insurance or sufficient insurance, then the injured victims may be able to recover compensation through the uninsured/underinsured motorist clause in their own car insurance policy. I trust the drunk driver in this case, who apparently caused so much grief and heartache to the members of this family, will soon be brought to justice and held civilly and criminally responsible for the accident and devastating injuries caused.