Jaquinn Bell, a 32-year-old Orange County man who was convicted of striking and killing three teenage girls in hit-and-run last Halloween in Santa Ana has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.
According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the girls were walking in a marked crosswalk while trick-or-treating in their neighborhood when Bell struck them and fled the scene.
Twins Lexia and Lexandra Perez and their friend Andrea Gonzalez, who were all 13 years old, were
crossing the intersection at Old Grand Street and Fairhaven Avenue when they were struck in the crosswalk. They died at the scene.
Driver Held Accountable
Bell pleaded guilty in March to three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury and one misdemeanor count of driving when privilege is suspended or revoked.
Bell also pleaded guilty to three felony counts of fleeing the scene of an accident. The charges yielded 13 years and eight months in state prison and six months in jail. Bell got an additional 18 months in jail for violating an Aug. 14 hit-and-run and DUI conviction.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the three children and the community that is dealing with this terrible tragedy. We are relieved to hear that the hit-and-driver has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.
Leaving the Scene of a Crash
As Orange County car accident lawyers who represent victims and their families, we hope this serves as an example of the fact that hit-and-run drivers will be held liable for the devastation they cause.
Leaving the scene of an injury or fatal crash is not only inhumane and irresponsible, but it is also illegal.
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.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run crash, it is important that you understand your rights. Get prompt medical attention, document all your losses and contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the investigation and ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.
A knowledgeable attorney will also be able to advise you regarding how your auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the hit-and-run driver is not identified or where the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured.