A woman suffered severe injuries in a Huntington Beach auto accident, which officials say involved a suspected DUI driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the crash occurred the afternoon of June 25, 2012 at the intersection of Warner Avenue and Algonquin Street. Fidel Barrera, 22, the driver of a Toyota 4Runner, was traveling east on Warner when he lost control of the SUV. The vehicle rolled over several times. The female passenger was trapped inside the 4Runner and had to be extricated by emergency personnel. Barrera was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence as well as driving on a suspended license. Toxicology tests are pending. The crash is under investigation and police are asking witnesses to call 714-536-5670.
My thoughts and prayers are with the critically injured victim of this car accident. I sincerely hope none of the three other passengers in the SUV were seriously injured. I wish the injured victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
DUI Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were four fatalities and 141 injuries in 2009 involving drunk driving collisions in Huntington Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 62 people died and 1,340 were injured as a result of DUI crashes during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news account, Barrera may have lost control of the SUV because he was under the influence. 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.” In addition, he was also driving with a suspended license.
Drivers who operate a motor vehicle under the influence and cause injury to another can be held both criminally and civilly liable for their actions. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of earnings, hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and other related damages. Victims or their families would be well advised to contact an experienced Huntington Beach car accident 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.