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California DUI Car Accident Proves Fatal for Woman

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Sylvia Ziranda, 38, was killed in a car accident the night of January 20, 2010 after the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck by a drunk driver, according to the Visalia Times Delta. California Highway Patrol officials said 23-year-old Tomas Hernandez was driving a 1991 Honda north on Road 204 near List Avenue, in Exeter, when he lost control and crashed head-on with a southbound Nissan pickup truck. Andres Rubio Soltero, 42, who was the driver of the Nissan, sustained minor injuries while his passenger, Ziranda, died from her injuries. Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and was transported to a Fresno hospital in critical condition.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Sylvia Ziranda, who have suffered a tremendous loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them. Please keep them in your prayers. I’m also relieved that Soltero did not suffer any catastrophic injuries in this accident. I wish him the very best for a quick and complete recovery from his injuries.

Car Accidents

There were eight injuries involving car accidents in Exeter, California in 2007, according to CHP’s traffic accident statistics. In Tulare County as a whole, 76 fatalities and 1,936 injuries were reported as a result of traffic accidents during the same year. Also, in 2007, alcohol-related car accidents claimed 30 lives and injured 253 people in Tulare County.

DUI Laws in California

Driving under the influence is a serious crime in California. 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. 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.”

Contacting an Experienced Injury Lawyer

Ziranda’s family would be well-advised to consult with a California personal injury lawyer experienced in financially pursuing drunk drivers and holding negligent drivers accountable. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney should advise the family about how their own car insurance policy applies to 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.

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  • JSmith

    My condolences to the victims and their families.

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