Marco Aguilar, 33, of Orange, was killed after a suspected drunk driver rear-ended his vehicle on the 55 Freeway on December 20, 2008, The Orange County Register reports. The Orange DUI accident occurred when a black Chevrolet Tahoe, heading north on the freeway near Chapman Avenue, crashed into the back of the green Toyota Avalon that Aguilar was driving. Aguilar was traveling at 15 mph because of slow traffic on the freeway.
The driver of the Tahoe has been identified as Oscar Omar Guereca. California Highway Patrol officials say Guereca was traveling at 85 mph during the accident and could not reduce the speed of his vehicle because he was under the influence. Guereca drove away after the crash, but was arrested shortly after. Guereca has been charged with felony driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.
My heart goes out to the family of Marco Aguilar, who was tragically killed in this drunk driving accident. Not only did Guereca choose to drive under the influence of alcohol, but he failed to stop after hitting Aguilar and fled the scene of the accident. I offer my deepest condolences to Aguilar’s family. Please keep them in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), in the city of Orange, there were four fatal traffic collisions involving alcohol and/or drugs in 2006 and 108 alcohol-involved injury accidents. In Orange County as a whole, in 2006, 80 deaths and 1,525 injuries were reported as a result of DUI auto accidents.
Guereca faces serious criminal charges and I trust he’ll be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But he should also be held civilly liable for his negligence and callous disregard for the safety of others. Not only is it illegal under the California Penal Code to drive under the influence, but it is also a violation of the California Vehicle Code Section 20001 to leave the scene of the accident.
Aguilar’s family will be entitled to collect compensation for any medical expenses and funeral costs and loss of wages. They will be entitled to file a wrongful death claim in this case because clearly negligence and wrongdoing were involved. I’d urge the family of Marco Aguilar to retain the services of a reputed Orange County auto accident attorney, who will remain on their side, fight to uphold their legal rights and help them secure the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve.