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Manslaughter Charges Finally Filed in Huntington Teen Bicyclist’s Death

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The Orange County district attorney has filed two felony charges of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence against a 20-year-old Huntington Beach man who struck and killed a 14-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle on a city street, The Orange County Register reported. Jeffrey F. Woods was reportedly driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he hit Danny Oates.

An affidavit filed by police officers in court, which was obtained by the Register, also shows that Woods was texting on his cell phone trying to execute a drug deal at the time he hit Danny with his pickup truck. We hope Mr. Woods is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. These charges have been a long time coming. As Danny’s father told the newspaper, this was nothing short of murder and Mr. Woods deserves to go to jail for his callous and negligent actions that snatched a young boy full of life and potential away from his parents.

Oates’ parents have retained our personal injury law firm to represent them in their claim against the city of Huntington Beach and the school district. The intersection of Indianapolis Avenue and Everglades Lane where the Aug. 29 accident occurred was no doubt a dangerous intersection that was crying out for more and better warnings to drivers that students may be present and trying to cross the street.

That intersection needed a lighted crosswalk, which the city reportedly installed after Danny was tragically killed as he biked to his school to find his locker and pick up his eighth grade schedule. The city of Huntington Beach rejected the parents’ claim regarding that dangerous intersection in March.

Danny’s parents are of course looking for justice for their son. At the same time, they also want to ensure that more young lives are not tragically lost at that intersection. This claim is not about money for our clients. It’s about making sure that more children are not killed at what has certainly proved to be a dangerous intersection irrespective of Mr. Woods’ negligence.

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