Sandra Ceballos, 12, was killed, and her uncle and her mother, 37-year-old Maria Sigala, were both seriously injured in a San Bernardino car accident caused by a suspected drunk driver. Police say the driver who caused the crash, 21-year-old Alexander Velasco, drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Macy and Mesa streets the night of May 16, 2010 and broadsided a 2004 Kia Optima driven by Sigala. The impact killed Sandra and seriously injured Sigala and her 21-year-old brother. Velasco has been arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.
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I offer my deepest condolences to everybody who knew and loved young Sandra Ceballos. What a devastating loss for the family! Not only have they lost their little girl, but are also caring for two other family members, who have apparently sustained major injuries. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 24 fatalities and 283 injuries involving DUI collisions in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. Also, countywide, alcohol-related crashes caused 94 deaths and 1,052 injuries in 2008.
Drunk Driving Laws
Based on this news report, not only did Velasco drive under the influence, but he also ran a stop sign and crashed into the Kia driven by Sigala. Under California law, driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent is illegal. 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.” It is also a serious traffic violation to run a stop sign.
Holding Wrongdoers Accountable
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file a wrongful death claim, seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. Injured victims, in such cases, can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, cost of hospitalization, loss of earnings, surgery, physical therapy and other associated damages.
Victims and their families would be well-advised to contact a reputed San Bernardino car accident lawyer, who has the experience and track record of holding drunk drivers financially responsible for their actions. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims and their families about how their own car insurance policy applies to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
What additional steps should law enforcement take to curb drunk driving in our communities?
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.