Kenneth Jackson, 60, was killed in a Mission Viejo car crash after officials say a drunk driver plowed into his home and struck Jackson as he was sleeping. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred in the early morning hours of December 29, 2013 in the 26000 block of Pacato Drive. Police say Kourosh Keshmiri, 27, drove a large Cadillac sedan into Jackson’s bedroom after he failed to navigate a turn and lost control of the vehicle. The car landed on Jackson’s bed as he slept. The force of the impact drove the bed into the bathroom. Jackson was found under the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.
Keshmiri was booked on suspicion of DUI and may face other charges as well. Keshmiri had a prior misdemeanor DUI conviction from 2010 and a pending case from June 2013. He was apparently driving with a suspended license. Officials said speed might have also been a factor in this fatal crash. Officials are still investigating.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Kenneth Jackson for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 36 were injured due to DUI crashes in Mission Viejo. In Orange County as a whole, 45 fatalities and 1,317 injuries were reported due to alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal. California’s Basic Speed Law also requires motorists to adhere to posted speed limits and drive at a speed that is appropriate, given the weather and roadway conditions. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges.
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.”
Rights of DUI Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, drunk drivers may also be held civilly liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing played a part, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer will also be able to advise victims and their families about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.