Rebekah Dawn Loberg, 30, has been charged with felony hit-and-run in connection with a pedestrian accident in Hemet earlier this month, which killed 33-year-old Michael Villalpando.
According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, the fatal crash occurred the night of November 6, 2015 along Highway 74.
Police say Loberg struck and killed Villalpando who was walking along the shoulder of the eastbound lanes of Highway 74, also known as Florida Avenue, in the Hemet-area community of Valle Vista.
Loberg’s red 2000 Honda Accord swerved to the shoulder and struck the
pedestrian. Loberg fled the scene and Villalpando died from his injuries.
Officials found the vehicle abandoned on New Chicago and Lincoln avenues within days of the crash. Investigators checked a DMV database and determined Loberg was the registered owner.
They also collected other evidence such as DNA, fingerprints and personal items to help determine who was driving it at the time of the crash.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Villalpando for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Leaving the Scene of a Crash
We are relieved to note that the driver in this case has been arrested and hope justice will be served. Not only is it inhumane and irresponsible to leave the scene of a car accident, 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 this case, the driver apparently shouldn’t have been driving at all unless she was going to or from her rehabilitation program. And she also reportedly violated the law by leaving the scene without providing any type of assistance to the critically injured victim. Outrageous!
Justice for Victims and Families
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file what is known as a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
An experienced Riverside personal injury attorney will also be able to advise victims’ families about how their own auto insurance policy might apply to an incident where the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured.