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Driver Arrested in Fatal DUI Collision in Modesto


Derek Rocha, 31, was killed in a Modesto car accident, which police say, involved a drunk driver. According to a news report in The Modesto Bee, the fatal car accident occurred on Vivian Road near Modesto the morning of February 13, 2011. Police say Antonio Vitor Lourenco of Turlock lost control of his vehicle while attempting a turn and struck a tree. His passenger, Rocha, was ejected from the vehicle and fatally injured. Lourenco has been charged with driving under the influence, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving without a license.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Derek Rocha following this tragic car accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

DUI Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person was killed and 111 were injured in Modesto DUI collisions. In Stanislaus County as a whole, 17 people died and 291 were injured due to alcohol-related car accidents during the same year.

Drunk Driving Laws

Police say that the driver of the vehicle here lost control while making a turn because he was under the influence of alcohol. It is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a). A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges as Lourenco does in this case.

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.”

Victims’ Claim for Compensation

The family of a victim killed by a drunk driver, even if the victim was a passenger, may be able to pursue financial compensation for their losses by filing a wrongful death claim. Compensation may be available for medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. Families of deceased victims would be well-advised to contact a reputed Modesto personal injury lawyer, who has the experience and a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk drivers. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer should also better advise families about how their own car insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. For more information about the dangers of drunk driving, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving web site at

Lost a family member in a Stanislaus County car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?

Call your best friends in the legal industry after a Modesto DUI car accident. Call 800-481-8656. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.

Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Modesto wrongful death lawyer, for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.

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