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Fatal DUI Collision in Ventura


Sergio Juarez, 24, was killed in a Ventura car accident after the vehicle in which he was a passenger hit by a parked truck, the night of October 8, 2011. According to a news report in The Ventura County Star, the fatal DUI collision occurred at the intersection of Thompson Boulevard and Catalina Street. Police say 23-year-old Nicholas Gaeta was driving a car, with Juarez as his passenger, when he hit the back of a box truck. Juarez sustained severe neck and head injuries. He was transported to a hospital where he died. Gaeta was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Sergio Juarez for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Ventura DUI Collisions

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities but 60 injuries happened involving alcohol-related crashes in the city of Ventura. In Ventura County as a whole, 23 people died and 392 were injured in DUI collisions, during the same year.

California DUI Laws

Based on this news report, it appears that Gaeta was under the influence when he struck the box truck. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal 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 gross vehicular manslaughter charges, as Gaeta 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

In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased car accident victim can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of companionship. An experienced Ventura personal injury lawyer will better advise victims’ families about how their own auto insurance policy applies to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at

Los Angeles Drunk Driving Car Accident Attorneys

Do you think that convicted drunk drivers should have to use ignition interlock devices (breathalizers installed in their vehicle) before they start their cars after their first offense?

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