Christine Gilbert, 29, of Long Beach, was fatally injured in an Orange County car accident after the vehicle in which she was a passenger crashed with another car and rolled over. According to The Orange County Register, the collision occurred on the westbound 91 Freeway near Walker Street, early morning on September 15, 2012. California Highway Patrol officials say Gilbert was riding in a 2010 Toyota Corolla with two other people when it hit a 1999 Honda Accord. The Toyota veered off the highway and rolled over several times. Gilbert sustained fatal injuries after she was ejected from the vehicle. The Toyota’s driver has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest sympathies to the family members and friends of Christine Gilbert for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
DUI Accident Statistics
According to CHP’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, while six were injured as a result of La Palma alcohol-related accidents. In Orange County as a whole, 45 fatalities and 1,317 injuries were reported due to DUI collisions, during the same year.
Based on this news report, the driver of the Toyota Corolla in which Gilbert was a passenger may have been under the influence at the time. 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).
Fault and Liability
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of love and companionship. Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. 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.