Marcos A. Arredondo, 18, and Macrina M. Ocampo, 58, were killed in a serious California car accident in Santa Barbara the morning of November 8, 2009 caused by s suspected drunk driver, according to a KCOY news report. The car that Arredondo and Ocampo were in, a Honda Accord, was struck by a driver who was going north on the southbound lanes of the 101 Freeway in Goleta, California. A California Highway Patrol officer, who had been alerted by a Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Sergeant about the wrong-way driver, witnessed the accident. Two others in the Honda sustained major injuries and were hospitalized. The wrong-way driver was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Arredondo and Ocampo for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Apparently, Arredondo was following another car filled with family members, who barely avoided the wrong-way vehicle. I can only imagine how the occupants of that vehicle must have felt witnessing this horrific crash. Please keep this grieving family in your prayers.
DUI Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), two fatalities and 14 injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related car accidents in Goleta, California. In Santa Barbara County as a whole, alcohol-related car accidents claimed 19 lives and injured 315 people in 2007.
I trust the wrong-way driver, if found responsible for this horrific crash, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs 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.”
California Car Accident Laws
A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges, as the wrong way driver does in this case. 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.”
In such cases, injured victims or their families might want to seek the counsel of a reputed California personal injury attorney, who has a successful track record with financially pursuing drunk drivers. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer should advise the family about how their own car insurance policy will apply in an accident case that involves an uninsured or underinsured driver.
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.