Agueda Quezadas-Gomez, 40, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident the night of June 20, 2010, after the car in which she was a passenger crashed in South El Monte. According to a news report in the Pasadena Star-News, Quezadas-Gomez was a passenger in a 2003 Toyota Corolla driven by 49-year-old Roberto Mendieta. Police suspect Mendieta was under the influence of alcohol and crashed the Toyota into a barrier pole at Peck Road and East Rush Street.
Mendieta has been charged with felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter. Officials say Mendieta was speeding at the time – doing 65 mph in a 35 mph zone. Quezadas-Gomez’s 9-year-old son, who was also in the car at the time, escaped with minor injuries. An investigation is ongoing.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Quezadas-Gomez — especially her 9-year-old son — who saw the crash and was in the collision himself. It is indeed fortunate he did not sustain major injuries. Still, the devastation of losing his mother remains. Please keep this child in your prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were three fatalities and 67 injuries involving DUI collisions in El Monte. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 258 people died and 4,832 were injured as a result of alcohol-related car accidents during the same year.
California Drunk Driving Laws
Driving under the influence is a serious criminal offense 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.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face gross vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
Claim for Compensation
In this case, if Mendieta is determined to have been driving recklessly and under the influence, he could face not only criminal charges, but also be held financially responsible for Quezadas-Gomez’s wrongful death. Her son and other family members can file a wrongful death claim against Mendieta for medical and funeral expenses, lost future earnings, loss of support, love, companionship and other related damages. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families about their legal rights and options.
Do you believe first-time offenders in California should be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicles?
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.