JC Droege, 32, was killed in an Irvine car accident after his motorcycle crashed into a stopped vehicle that had just been involved in an accident. According to The Orange County Register, the fatal motorcycle accident occurred in the northbound lanes of the 405 Freeway near Sand Canyon in Irvine, the night of March 29, 2012. Officials say Leslie Juarez, 27, of Laguna Beach was southbound on the freeway and travelling at a high rate of speed in a 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse, when she crashed into a 2006 Nissan Sentra and caused it to enter opposing traffic lanes. A 1995 Toyota Tacoma then collided with the Sentra forcing it to stop, before Droege, who was driving a 1999 Suzuki motorcycle, crashed into the Sentra. Droege was killed in the accident and Juarez was hospitalized with minor injuries. She was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter.
My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of JC Droege following this tragic motorcycle accident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Orange County DUI Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), four people were killed and 66 were injured in Irvine DUI collisions. During that same year, there were 62 fatalities and 1,340 injuries reported as a result of alcohol-related crashes in Orange County.
California Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news report, the driver of the Mitsubishi caused the accident by driving under the influence of alcohol. It is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges.
California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a) states: "Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence."
The family of a deceased DUI victim would be well advised to contact an experienced Irvine personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk drivers. In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, family members can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. 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.