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DUI Suspected in Fatal Los Angeles Car Accident

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Semaj McKnight, 21, and Jessie Jackson, 26, were killed in a Los Angeles car accident, which officials say, was caused by a woman who was driving under the influence. According to a news report in the Daily Breeze, the fatal collision occurred early morning on September 18, 2010 in the 7700 block of South Western Avenue near 77th Street in South Los Angeles. McKnight and Jackson were passengers in a 2003 Cadillac CTS driven by 20-year-old Tamesha Bingham.

Police say the Cadillac was traveling north on Western Avenue at a high rate of speed when it crossed over the center divider into opposing lanes of traffic and struck a 2008 Honda Accord. The driver of the Honda was also injured, but the extent of his injuries is not yet known. Bingham was later arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Semaj McKnight and Jessie Jackson for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. I also wish the injured victim the best for a swift and full recovery.

DUI Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 105 deaths and 2,252 injuries involving DUI collisions in Los Angeles. Countywide, 258 people died and 4,832 were injured as a result of alcohol-related collisions in 2008.

Drunk Driving Laws

Driving under the influence is a serious crime 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 gross vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a), as Bingham does in this case.

Victims’ Claim for Compensation

In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file wrongful death claims seeking compensation for medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. Injured victims can seek compensation from the at-fault driver for medical expenses, loss of earnings, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other damages. The best Los Angeles personal injury lawyers will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

Do you believe California should require ignition interlock devices for first-time DUI offenders?

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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  • Ray

    I think California should make interlock devices standard on all vehicles with a .16 limit. If you are twice the legal limit, you have no business turning your car on.

  • Tasha McKnight

    Semaj McKnight is my cousin i dnt even kno wat to say it all jus happened in a blink of an eye.im jus in so much and pain and so is my family, and Jesse was a friend of the family soo my heart goes out to him to, if anyone has any information on wat happened that morning please let meeh know

  • concerned relative of Semaj

    This was very careless. This yopung lady did not consider her friends welfare. Its important to respect the laws and follow them Semaj you will be truly missed.. LOVE YOU Ms.Pooh

  • Anonymous

    Miss you guys

  • Ellen Lewis-jackson

    I Am Jesse Jackson, Mother.. I am Seeking and or asking if there is a Video or New’s coverage

  • Ms. jackson

    It’s June 2011 this very date last year, you were alive Jesse, Mommy really mis you… this is so overwhelming, You are at Rest.. I have protected you all of your life, this one time I could not save you baby god needed you… I just cant believe this Happen.. But justice will happen for you, I’ll see to it… Mom will make sure you have the last word.. RIp.. Baby

  • Driving under the influence is one of the most common causes of fatal car accidents in the country. In California, 35 percent of all fatal car accidents are related to drunk driving.

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