A 7-year-old girl was killed and her 13-year-old sister was in critical condition after an SUV slammed into a Tesla in the carpool lane on the 405 Freeway in Seal Beach the morning of August 15, 2016. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, a Chevy Tahoe crossed over the double yellow lines near the Seal Beach Boulevard exit on the northbound 405, crossed into the carpool lane and rear-ended the 2015 Tesla. Both girls were riding in the back seat. Their car was pushed into a Honda Civic.
The two girls and their father were transported to an area hospital. The 7-year-old succumbed to her injuries. The 13-year-old girl remains in critical condition while their father is in serious condition. California Highway Patrol officials arrested the driver of the Tahoe, 36-year-old Adam Kanas, on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Our deepest sympathies go out to this family that has lost a child and has two other loved ones in the hospital. Let us keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
DUI Crashes in OC
One fatality and eight injuries were reported in the city of Seal Beach as a result of DUI collisions in 2013, according to CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Orange County as a whole, 60 people died and 1,235 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
California DUI Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that CHP officials were already looking for the driver of the Chevy Tahoe SUV after they got reports that its driver was operating the vehicle erratically. However, they were not able to catch up with him before this horrific tragedy occurred. It is illegal under California law to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is also illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. 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).
Justice for Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, DUI drivers can also be held civilly liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Orange County car accident attorney will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.