Sandra Ceballos, 38, was killed and her friend was injured after a driver crashed into them at a street intersection in La Habra. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal accident occurred near Rigby Street and Whittier Boulevard just before 9 p.m. on October 25, 2013. The black Cadillac that hit them left the scene. Ceballos died from her injuries and her friend was injured. The women had just bought beer and were headed home when the vehicle hit them. The impact of the crash was so great that the women were sent flying about 50 feet, officials said. The driver, identified as 20-year-old Caroline Kim was later arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run. The investigation is still ongoing.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Ceballos family as well as the other woman who was injured in this hit-and-run crash. I wish the injured victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
California Hit-and-Run Law
Under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a), leaving the scene of an injury or fatal car accident is illegal. Under the law, motorists are required to stop immediately and wait at the scene until police arrive. They are also required to exchange pertinent information and most importantly, help the injured victim or victims. In this case, the driver did none of the above. Instead, she left the scene of the crash, leaving the two injured victims lying on the roadway exposed to further danger.
Protecting Victims’ Rights
Based on this news report, Ceballos’s relatives say the driver of the Cadillac was being pursued by an unmarked police car right before the collision occurred. However, the La Habra Police Department has issued a statement saying that Kim was not being pursued by officers at the time.
In such cases, injured victims and families of deceased victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. A knowledgeable accident lawyer will also be able to decide if a dangerous roadway caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the accident or injury.