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San Diego DUI Car Accident Kills Pregnant Woman


Elaina Luquis-Ortiz, 21, was killed in a San Diego car accident early morning January 1, 2010, after a suspected drunk driver crashed into her vehicle while she waited with her two friends for help, on the 805 Freeway, according to a 10news report. The fatal accident occurred shortly after Luquis-Ortiz had pulled over her Mazda RX7 to the right shoulder of the freeway, near the Home Avenue exit, and behind her friends’ Mitsubishi Spider that had a flat tire. All three sat inside the Mazda as they waited for the tow truck, California Highway Patrol officials said.

That’s when a 2006 Chevy Tahoe driven by 40-year-old Joseph Venegas, crashed into the Mazda. Luquis-Ortiz, who was six months pregnant at the time, died at the scene. Her two friends were transported to a local hospital with major injuries, but are listed in fair condition. Venegas was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.

I offer my deepest condolences to everybody who knew and loved Elaina Luquis-Ortiz for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. My heart goes out especially to her husband, a U.S. Marine who just recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan. I also hope Luquis-Ortiz’s friends make a speedy and complete recovery from their major injuries. Please keep this grieving family and these injured victims in your prayers.

Alcohol-Related Traffic Accidents

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 41 fatalities and 894 injuries involving DUI car accidents in San Diego. Countywide, 116 fatalities and 2,068 injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related car accidents in 2007.

DUI Laws in California

In this particular case, Venegas not only faces felony DUI charges, but could also be looking at vehicular manslaughter charges for the death of Luquis-Ortiz and her fetus. California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) states: “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.” The same code section also states that it is illegal for any person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more to drive a vehicle.

Liability Issues

It would be in the best interests of these injured victims and the family of Elaina Luquis-Ortiz, to retain the services of a reputed San Diego personal injury lawyer, who has an excellent track record of holding negligent and drunk drivers accountable. Where negligence or wrongdoing is involved families of deceased car accident victims can file wrongful death claims seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, loss of earnings, loss of love and companionship and other related damages. Injured victims could seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, therapy and other damages. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also advise victims and their families about how a claim may be filed through their car insurance policy in an incident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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