Shannon Kelly Shimp, a 35-year-old El Cajon man has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving in a North San Diego County auto accident that killed 19-year-old Ian Kinney of Julian and Joseph Warren Edwards, 52, of Ramona. According to this news report, the fatal crash occurred on State Route 78 east of Magnolia Avenue in Ramona when the 1998 Chevrolet flatbed truck driven by Shimp veered into a westbound lane and rammed into an oncoming 1996 Lexus ES300.
The accident killed Kinney, the driver of the BMW and Edwards, who was a passenger in Shimp’s vehicle. Kinney’s 18-year-old girlfriend, identified as Tessa, was airlifted to an area hospital with serious injuries, California Highway Patrol officials said. Eyewitnesses told officials that Shimp was trying to pass a vehicle in an unsafe manner when the collision happened.
I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and the injured. I hope Mr. Shimp is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and the victims and their families get the justice they rightfully deserve. In California, one-fourth of all fatal traffic collisions involve someone driving under the influence, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
These deaths, like thousands of other drunken driving fatalities in the United States, are tragic and unnecessary. Mr. Shimp should not only face criminal charges for causing the accident, but if he is determined to have been intoxicated, he should also be held financially responsible for the accident, injuries, fatalities and damages caused.
The families of the deceased and the injured should consider retaining the services of an experienced and resourceful Southern California personal injury attorney. In some cases families of DUI accident victims are also able to go after bars or establishments that served alcohol to the suspect. These establishments are required to train their employees to stop serving alcohol to a patron who is intoxicated. But that does not always happen. It’s time we held these businesses accountable for their actions as well.