Michelle Garcia, 20, was killed in a San Diego car accident the morning of February 20, 2010 involving a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in the North County Times, Garcia was in a 2006 Lexus driven by George Reyes traveling eastbound on Avenue S in Escondido. California Highway Patrol officials say Garcia allowed his vehicle to drift over to the right shoulder. He veered back to the left, but lost control. The Lexus crossed the median, rolled over and came to rest on its roof. Garcia was ejected from the Lexus and died at the scene. CHP officials reported that she was not wearing her seatbelt. Reyes sustained major injuries, but was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
I offer my heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Michelle Garcia for their devastating loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to CHP’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 98 injuries involving DUI collisions in Escondido. In San Diego County as a whole, DUI collisions claimed 104 lives and injured 2,033 people in 2008.
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 could also 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.”
Contacting an Experienced Injury Lawyer
In this case, if I were a member of Garcia’s family, I would also look into whether seatbelt defects caused the victim to get ejected from the vehicle. In such cases, victims’ families would be well-advised to consult an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of holding negligent drivers financially responsible. These incidents, undoubtedly, remind us about the dangers of drunk driving and the tragedies that can occur as a result of making such poor choices.
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.