Nick Haverland, 20, was killed, and 34-year-old Corina Topete and her 13-year-old daughter were seriously injured in a Ventura car accident, which officials say, was caused by a drunk driver who fled the scene of the crash. According to a news report in the Ventura County Star, officials say Satnam Singh was driving his Hummer erratically and caused three collisions on May 11, 2011. First, he struck Topete and her daughter who were riding their bikes on La Jolla Street. Then, he continued west and hit a pickup truck that was stopped at a red light. A family of three in the pickup complained of pain.
Even after striking the pickup, Singh drove the Hummer that had lost a wheel. Singh’s SUV struck down Haverland who was riding a bicycle in the bike lane near Telegraph Road and Mara Avenue. He died at the scene. A female driver identified as Cindy Wilson, 52, of Ventura followed Singh to his home. Police arrested the suspect in the driveway of his home on suspicion of felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of young Nick Haverland for their heartbreaking loss. By all accounts, Haverland was a loving, kind man who touched many lives. What a terrible loss for his family! They will be in my thoughts and prayers. I also wish those who were injured in this accident the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 63 injuries involving DUI collisions in Ventura. Countywide, alcohol-related crashes claimed 27 lives and caused 475 injuries during the same year.
California DUI Laws
If the details of this news report are accurate, the driver, Singh, was not only under the influence, but also caused three separate accidents, which killed one person and injured at least five others. 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.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a). In addition Singh left the scene of all three accidents. It is unconscionable to leave the scene of an injury or fatality crash without stopping to help the injured. In this case, Singh plowed through anything and everything that came in his way and kept going! Appalling!
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is apparent, the family of a deceased car accident victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, loss of companionship and other damages. Injured victims can claim compensation for medical expenses, loss of earnings, hospitalization, physical therapy and other damages. An experienced Ventura personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise injured victims and their families about their legal rights and options.
Lost a family member in a Ventura County hit-and-run car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after a fatal Ventura DUI accident. Call 800-481-8656. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Ventura wrongful death lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.