A teenager was critically injured in a Ventura car accident after the vehicle in which he was a passenger was struck by a suspected drunk driver who then fled the scene. According to a news report in The Ventura County Star, the injury collision occurred in Simi Valley the night of December 22, 2011. Police say 20-year-old Nicolas Budfuloski, exited the driveway of Ralph’s in the 2700 block of Los Angeles Avenue and was hit by a vehicle while he was attempting to make a westbound turn.
The driver of the other vehicle, who was later identified as Arturo Sanchez, fled the scene on foot. One of Budfuloski’s two passengers had to be extricated from the vehicle. The boy suffered pulmonary contusions and blunt force trauma. Budfuloski and the other passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Sanchez was arrested shortly after the crash and was charged with felony DUI causing injury.
My thoughts and prayers are with the young man who is fighting for his life after being injured in this hit-and-run car accident. I wish him and the other injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 35 injuries involving alcohol-related crashes in Simi Valley. In Ventura County as a whole, 23 people died and 392 were injured as a result of DUI collisions during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
If the details of this news report are accurate, it appears that Sanchez was not only under the influence at the time of the crash, but he also fled the scene leaving a young victim critically injured. Appalling! I’m relieved to hear that he has been apprehended. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal under California law. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “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.”
Leaving the scene of a car accident is not only an irresponsible and inhumane act, but it is also illegal. California Vehicle Code 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is apparent, injured victims and their families would be well advised to retain the services of an experienced Ventura personal injury lawyer who has had a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk and negligent drivers. A knowledgeable car accident attorney will also advise victims about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.