An Australian man was killed in a Santa Monica car accident, which officials say involved a suspected drunk driver, the evening of August 21, 2012. According to a news report in the Santa Monica Lookout, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred at the intersection of Third Street and Colorado Avenue in Downtown Santa Monica. Police say the victim, his wife and 8-year-old daughter were walking across the street when an eastbound vehicle struck the man and his daughter.
The 50-year-old man suffered critical injuries and died the following morning. His daughter suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 26-year old Cara Cameron, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. Based on preliminary reports, the family was crossing against a “Don’t Walk” sign and the driver had a green light. Officials are still investigating the incident and are looking for additional eyewitnesses.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of this deceased pedestrian accident victim. My thoughts and prayers are also with the child who was injured. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 53 were injured due to DUI crashes in Santa Monica. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 197 fatalities and 4,359 injuries were reported involving alcohol-related collisions, during the same year.
California DUI Laws
Based on this news report it appears that the victim and his family may have been crossing against the light. However, police are looking for additional witnesses to determine the circumstances of this collision. Officials have arrested and charged the driver with DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges.
California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
Compensation for Victims
In such cases, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party seeking compensation to cover damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Victims’ families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk drivers. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.