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Suspected DUI Driver Talking on Cell Phone Causes Pedestrian Accident


A pedestrian suffered injuries to his legs after, officials say, a driver who was under the influence and was talking on his cell phone crashed into a parked car pushing it into a man standing in front of it. According to a news report in The Daily Breeze, the injury collision occurred the night of July 26, 2013, near the intersection of Rosecrans and Avis avenues. Police say Nima Vandordaklou, 31, was driving west in his gray 2009 Honda when he crashed into a Mercedes-Benz S320 parked on the south side of Rosecrans. The collision pushed the Mercedes into a man pinning him against the rear of another parked car.

Police and firefighters had to back up the Mercedes to free the pedestrian from between the two cars. He was hospitalized with injuries to both legs, but is expected to survive. Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies determined that Vandordaklou was driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs and talking on the cell phone at the same time. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and possession of narcotics. The Daily Breeze reports that over the last 13 years, Vandordaklou has been charged with underage drunk driving, driving with a suspended license, making an unsafe lane change and possessing marijuana while driving.

Distracted Driving Crashes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver compared to 3,267 in 2010. Also, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. NHTSA reports that 10 percent of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as crashes involving distracted drivers.

Violation of California Vehicle Codes

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver, Vandordaklou, was not only under the influence, but also talking on the cell phone. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Also, California law prohibits drivers from texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23123 (a): “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.”

Liability Issues

In such cases, negligent drivers can be held liable for injuries and damages caused to victims. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.

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