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Fresno DUI Car Crash Kills Three


Three occupants of a Honda Civic–Francisco Magana, 20, Virginia Garcia, 21, and Vivian Garcia, 14–were killed in a Fresno car accident that officials believe was caused by a suspected drunk driver going in the wrong road direction.

According to a news report in the Fresno Bee, 32-year-old Willie Rivera Jr. was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck the wrong way and collided head-on with the Honda at the intersection of Jensen and Armstrong avenues the night of June 24, 2009. The Silverado apparently sideswiped a Ford pickup and then hit the Civic. A Daewoo sedan was also caught up in the fatal car crash.

The driver of the Civic, 21-year-old Sergio Barrera Jr., suffered major injuries. Shinder Randhawa, 51, the driver of the Ford and his passenger, Gagandip Randhawa, 25, and the driver of the Daewoo, Maria Tostado, 26, suffered minor injuries. The suspected drunk driver, Willie Rivera, survived the car accident and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the three victims who were killed in this fatal DUI car crash. I offer my deepest condolences to them. I also wish the driver of the Civic, Barrera, who suffered major injuries, the very best for a quick and complete recovery. Please keep him in your prayers.

I sincerely hope Rivera is held civilly and criminally responsible for causing this fatal car accident killing three people. In California, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal.

California Vehicle Code section 23152 (a) states: “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.”

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 families of the deceased victims would be well-advised to consult experienced California personal injury attorneys who have had success with wrongful death claims. Such claims compensate families of deceased victims in cases where negligence or wrongdoing was involved. Injured victims may also be able to receive compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages and other related damages.

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