A 54-year-old Fresno man was killed in a pedestrian accident in Anaheim near Disneyland in what officials say was a suspected DUI collision. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred the night of Feb. 9 on Disneyland Drive north of Katella Avenue. Police say the man was walking southbound on the east sidewalk of Disneyland Drive when a 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser heading north on the roadway jumped the curb and struck the man as well as a tree and a utility box.
The pedestrian suffered critical injuries and was transported to an area trauma center where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the PT Cruiser, 47-year-old Stefanie Lyn Bieser, of La Mirada, was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causing bodily injury. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members and friends of this deceased victim for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
DUI Crash Statistics
There were two fatalities and 195 injuries reported in Anaheim as a result of DUI-related traffic accidents in 2015, according to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Orange County as a whole, 64 people died and 1,310 were injured due to DUI-related car crashes during the same year.
California DUI Laws
Based on this news report, police say the driver of the PT Cruiser was under the influence when she lost control of the vehicle, went over the curb and struck the pedestrian who was walking in a sidewalk near Disneyland.
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), as Bieser does in this case.
Justice for Victims and Families
But, in addition to criminal charges, DUI drivers in such cases can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to help victims’ families better understand their legal rights and options.