An elderly woman died, identified as Deodula Omandum, 75, of Visalia, and five others were injured in a Santa Ana car accident after the car in which they were riding was rear-ended by a pickup truck when it was stopped at a red light the night of Nov. 23. According to a KTLA.com news report, the fatal crash occurred at the intersection of Red Hill Avenue and Dyer Road.
Tragic Rear-End Collision
A preliminary investigation showed that a red GMC pickup was headed south on Red Hill when it struck a black Chevy Cruz from behind as it waited for the red signal at the intersection. The impact caused the Chevy to be pushed across the entire intersection and come to a stop before it burst into flames. An Irvine police officer who happened to be nearby and a few passersby managed to get two adults and two children from the Chevy before it caught fire.
But, an elderly woman who was in the back seat was pinned in the vehicle and died from the fire. In addition to the occupants of the Chevy, the driver of the pickup was also injured and transported to an area hospital. Police suspect alcohol or drugs may have played a part in this collision. No citations or arrests have been reported. Anyone who saw the crash is asked to contact Santa Ana police at 714-245-8200.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Deodula Omandum’s family members. We also wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
DUI Statistics and Laws
There were 24 deaths and 1,719 injuries reported as a result of car accidents in the city of Santa Ana, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2015 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). Of those, 10 deaths and 133 injuries involved alcohol and or drugs. Countywide, 64 fatalities and 1,310 injuries were reported during the same year due to alcohol or drug-related crashes, statistics show.
Based on this news report, it appears that alcohol or drugs may have played a part in this fatal crash. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is also against the law to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. When a death occurs as a result of impaired driving, the DUI driver may be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Holding Those at Fault Accountable
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, the at-fault driver may also be held financially liable for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization and pain and suffering while families that have lost loved ones can also seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to help victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.