Jesus Heredia Calixto, 18, and Candice Ann Bustamante, 32, a 16-year-old girl and another 19-year-old man were killed in a violent car accident in Long Beach, which officials say, was caused by two cars racing each other on a public roadway.
The Press Telegram reports that the horrific crash happened on the Long Beach Peninsula the morning of August 22, 2010 when a Ford Mustang and a 1997 Ford Taurus collided. The Mustang then hit a stone marker. All four of the fatally injured victims were occupants of the Mustang. The two teens in the Taurus fled the scene, but were later apprehended. They are expected to be charged with felony hit-and-run and murder.
I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved these deceased victims for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. These victims’ families will be in my prayers.
Street Racing Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were reports of 135 fatal car accidents that involved street racing in 2001, a number that had almost doubled since 2000. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that there were more than 800 citations issued for illegal street racing in 2001. I would not be surprised if that number has significantly increased in the last five years. Nationwide, statistics also show that 49 people are injured for every 1,000 people who participate in illegal street racing.
Laws and Liability Issues
Racing on a public roadway is illegal under California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a). It is also against the law to leave the scene of an accident. California Vehicle Code 20001 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is apparent, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship and other related damages. An experienced Long Beach personal injury lawyer will also be able to advise victims’ families about how their own auto insurance policy applies to a hit-and-run accident or in the event the at-fault driver lacks insurance or is underinsured.
Is street racing a common problem in your community? What steps do you think should be taken to eradicate this problem?
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.