A 46-year-old man was seriously injured in a Huntington Beach car accident when a drunk driver struck his motorcycle. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the DUI crash occurred on Pacific Coast Highway, near Goldenwest Street, in Huntington Beach, the afternoon of August 12, 2011. Police say Jesse Rodriguez, 21, was driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup in the bike lane to pass slower vehicles when he clipped the Harley-Davidson driven by the victim.
The motorcyclist sustained serious injuries. Rodriguez fled the scene, but authorities were able to track him down and arrest him shortly after the incident. Rodriguez faces several charges including, driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, hit-and-run, and reckless driving.
My thoughts and prayers are with the man injured in this motorcycle accident. I wish him the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), four people were killed and 141 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes in Huntington Beach. During that same year, 62 fatalities and 1,340 injuries occurred involving Orange County DUI collisions.
Violations of the Law
If the details of this news report are accurate, it appears that the driver, Rodriguez, was not only under the influence of alcohol, but also illegally drove in the bike lane and struck the victim while merging back into traffic lanes. Rodriguez then fled the scene of the collision.
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.” Moreover, it is illegal to leave the scene of an injury crash, let alone an unconscionable act. I’m relieved to hear that officials were able to arrest this dangerous driver.
In this particular case, the driver, in addition to facing criminal charges, can also be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused. The injured victim can seek compensation from the at-fault motorist for medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. An experienced Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer will advise victims and their families in such cases about their legal rights and options. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.