Ricardo Badillo, 60, of Los Angeles was killed after the driver of a 2001 Ford Explorer crashed into his vehicle head-on. According to this ABC news report, a 30-year-old driver in a 2001 Ford Explorer sideswiped a Ford Mustang and then slammed head-on into Badillo’s Nissan Murano early morning on January 25, 2009. California Highway Patrol officials say that the accident occurred on the 14 Freeway in the southbound lanes near Soledad Canyon Road, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. The driver of the Explorer was arrested, but is yet to be charged pending an investigation.
According to this Los Angeles Times article, the driver of the Explorer also suffered major injuries. But officials have detained him to determine whether alcohol or drugs played a part in this tragic Los Angeles County fatal auto accident.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ricardo Badillo, who only died because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Please keep the Badillo family in your prayers.
Based on this news report and account of the accident, I would not be surprised at all if the 30-year-old driver of the Explorer was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If CHP officials determine that to be true after their investigation, the motorist will certainly be charged with felony DUI driving and vehicular manslaughter. He could face criminal charges even if he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, unless there were other mitigating factors such as medical issues. But in my opinion, that was highly unlikely in this case. Here was a relatively young driver, going the wrong way on a freeway at 3 a.m. It is hard to imagine that alcohol or drugs were not involved.
The family of Ricardo Badillo would be well-advised to retain the services of a reputed Los Angeles auto accident lawyer, who will identify the negligent parties and hold them accountable for the accident and fatal injuries. In choosing a law firm, it is important to do some research and select firms that have a stellar reputation when it comes to pursuing wrongdoers (drunk drivers included) and holding them accountable for their actions. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims will also be able to file wrongful death claims, which usually compensate such families for expenses such as medical/funeral costs and loss of wages.