Maria Arreola, 60, was killed in a Los Angeles car accident, which police report, involved a drunk driver. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the fatal DUI crash occurred at the intersection of Slauson and Normandie avenues in Los Angeles’ Chesterfield Square, the morning of September 13, 2011. Officials say a driver, identified as 23-year-old Danilo Hernandez, ran a red light at the intersection before striking another car driven by a man. Arreola, who was pronounced dead at the site of the collision, was a passenger in one of the vehicles. The male driver whose car was hit has also been injured but is expected to survive. Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Maria Arreola following this tragic accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. I also wish the surviving injured victim of this DUI collision a complete and speedy recovery.
Los Angeles DUI Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 83 people were killed and 2,218 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes in Los Angeles. During that same year, 204 fatalities and 4,672 injuries occurred involving Los Angeles County DUI collisions.
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver, Hernandez, was not only under the influence of alcohol, but also ran a red light at the intersection. 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.” In addition, running a red light is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a).
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking damages to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of companionship. Families of victims would be well-advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record financially pursuing drunk drivers. 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.