Maximillion Infinity Petrakos, 13, was killed and his mother and brother were injured in a Los Angeles car accident, which officials say, involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a CBS news report, the fatal car accident occurred on the westbound 60 Freeway just east of Seventh Avenue in Hacienda Heights early morning on June 3, 2012. Maximillion was apparently standing with his 41-year-old woman next to a disabled vehicle on the freeway’s shoulder, when the suspect’s vehicle drifted onto the right shoulder before hitting the victims and the disabled car.
A 10-year-old boy who was sitting in the rear seat of the disabled vehicle suffered moderate injuries. The mother suffered major injuries. Tina Silva, 28, the driver of the 2012 Honda Civic that struck the victims, initially left the scene, but was contacted by law enforcement and arrested. She is being held without bail. Officials say she was under the influence at the time of the fatal collision.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and many friends of Maximillion Infinity Petrakos who was fatally injured in this DUI collision. My heart also goes out to the injured woman and the boy for what they must be going through. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 35 fatalities and 596 injuries reported involving DUI collisions in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Also, countywide, alcohol-related crashes claimed 204 lives and injured 4,672 people, during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news account, it appears that the driver of the Honda sedan was not only under the influence when she swerved off the roadway into the shoulder and caused this tragic collision, but she also fled the scene of the accident leaving three injured victims on the freeway. Unconscionable!
Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal under California law. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.” 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).
In addition, this driver left the scene of a fatal car accident. California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.” I’m relieved to note that the driver in this case has been apprehended.
Protecting Victims’ Rights
Injured victims or families of deceased victims in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk drivers. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, pain and suffering and other damages. The family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses and funeral costs. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.