Marcela Pacheco Garciaguirre, 23, was killed and her passenger was involved, in a Costa Mesa car crash, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver.
According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, 22-year-old Brandon Alvarez of Anaheim was involved in an accident at Harbor Boulevard and Date Place the night of May 31, 2014.
He drove away and minutes later ran a red light at the northbound 405 off-ramp broadsiding a Kia Optima.
Garciaguirre, the driver of the Kia died at the scene. Her 26-year-old passenger was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Alvarez’s Nissan pickup had
front-end damage, officials say. Officials say beer cans were in the truck and could be seen strewn across the street before the scene was cleared.
Alvarez was also injured, but was arrested on suspicion of DUI, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Garciaguirre for their tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are also with the injured victim.
OC Drunk Driving Crashes
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2011 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 73 injuries reported as a result of DUI crashes in the city of Costa Mesa.
In Orange County as a whole, 51 people died and 1,265 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver was not only under the influence, but also left the scene of at least one of the crashes.
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.”
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).
Also leaving the scene of an injury or fatal crash is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a). I’m relieved that the driver in this case was apprehended and arrested.
In auto accident cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death case against the at-fault party seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.
In addition to facing criminal charges, impaired drivers who cause injury crashes can also be held civilly liable for the damages they have caused.
Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Injured victims and their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Costa Mesa personal injury lawyer who has successfully pursued DUI drivers financially.
The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.