Kaydee Campbell, 20, of Trabuco Canyon, was killed in a Tustin freeway accident on December 14, 2008 when she stopped to help a stranded motorist on Interstate 5.
According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Campbell, a nursing student who was home for the holidays, was killed after a suspected drunk driver was unable to stop in time and caused the fatal crash.
The impaired driver was identified as Takayuki Saito, 41, of Santa Ana. Apparently Campbell, her boyfriend and a 16-year-old girl were traveling north on the 5 Freeway near Redhill Avenue, when they saw a disabled motorist. Campbell and the teen got out to help the motorist when Saito crashed his car into Campbell’s BMW, which got pushed on to Campbell and the teen. The 16-year-old girl suffered major injuries.
My heart goes out to Kaydee Campbell’s family as well as the teenager, who was seriously injured in this horrific DUI crash. Here were two Good Samaritans helping a stranded motorist on the freeway and they get struck down in turn. Tragic!
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Traffic Reporting System, there were a total of 199 auto accident fatalities reported in Orange County in 2006. Out of those fatalities, 80 were alcohol-related. There is no question that Saito must be held criminally and civilly responsible for Campbell’s death and the serious injuries caused to the 16-year-old girl.
Saito will most likely face criminal vehicular manslaughter charges. According to California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a): “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle…and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence.”
The families of Kaydee Campbell and the injured victim would be well-advised to consult with a reputed Orange County wrongful death lawyer who has an excellent track record of holding drunk drivers accountable for their actions. Our firm is currently financially pursuing at least 50 of these drunk drivers on behalf of our clients who were either severely injured in drunk driving accidents or lost loved ones. It makes me mad as hell when people who drink choose to get behind the wheel and put other road users in peril, when they should call a cab or simply not drive.