Susana Orozco and Erica Oliva, both 23, and another 34-year-old person died in a San Diego car accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The San Diego Union-Tribune, the fatal DUI crash occurred early morning on August 13, 2010.
Orozco and Oliva were traveling on State Route 78 in Vista with two other passengers in a 2008 Nissan Altima when they pulled over to the shoulder because one of the passengers felt ill. A Jeep Cherokee driven by 33-year-old Debbie Sumi, rear-ended the Altima. Orozco and Oliva died as did Sumi’s passenger, only identified as a 34-year-old resident of Orange. Sumi was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter.
My deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the three people killed in this tragic and fatal car accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were four fatalities and 55 injuries involving DUI collisions in Vista. In San Diego County as a whole, alcohol-related crashes claimed 104 lives and injured 2,033 people during the same year.
California Drunk Driving Laws
It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs 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 vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5(a).
Claim for Compensation
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased car accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical and funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages.
A reputed San Diego personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of holding drunk drivers financially responsible for their actions, will be able to advise victims and their families in such cases about how to pursue their rights. Here, the at-fault driver appears to have no driver’s license or car insurance. In such situations, a knowledgeable car accident lawyer will be able to explain how the injured victim’s family may be able to claim compensation through the uninsured/underinsured clause of their own auto insurance policy.
Have you ever been involved in a car accident where the at-fault driver did not have car insurance or was underinsured?
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.