Paola Casara, a 32-year-old Italian tourist was killed and three members of a local family that was hosting her were injured in a San Francisco car accident after a drunk driver crashed into their car on Devil’s Slide, the night of August 9, 2009, the San Mateo Daily Journal reports. Thomas Harold Randall, 51, struck a Ford Escape carrying Casara and her host family, after drinking beer and vodka all day in Pescadero, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Randall’s blood alcohol level was 0.27 percent – more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Eyewitnesses say Randall was driving 75 mph in a 45 mph zone, traveled to the wrong side of the road and then overcorrected to the right, crashing into the Ford. The Ford spun out of control ejecting Casara and leaving the three other occupants with injuries. Officials say Randall was completely intoxicated and had no idea where he was. Randall is being charged with felony driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter.
Tragic DUI Car Accident
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Paola Casara for their tragic, heartbreaking and untimely loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Casara. Here was a woman who was apparently enjoying her vacation in this country when her life was cut short because of a drunk driver. Tragic!
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), six fatalities and 261 injuries were reported in San Mateo County as a result of alcohol-related car accidents. It is illegal in the state of California to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more.
California DUI Laws
California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
In cases where visitors to this country fall victim to such negligence or wrongdoing, it is important to note that such victims and their families have rights. For example, Casara’s family will be able to seek compensation or civil damages for her wrongful death in a California court. Casara’s family would be well-advised to consult with an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer who will explain their legal rights and options and make sure they receive fair compensation for their damages, injuries and irreparable loss.