An 86-year-old man, who was seriously injured in a Seal Beach car accident after being struck by a suspected drunk driver, died on May 28, 2012. According to The Orange County Register, the incident occurred the evening of May 20 at the intersection of St. Andrews Drive and Tam O’Shanter Road in Leisure World. The rider of the wheelchair was transported in critical condition to an area hospital while the driver, 75-year-old Dale Snyder Quinn, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The coroner still has not released the name of the deceased victim or the cause of death. Seal Beach police and the Orange County District Attorney’s office are investigating the incident. Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact Seal Beach police at 562-799-4100.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of this deceased pedestrian accident victim. Please keep this grieving family in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 23 injuries involving DUI collisions in Seal Beach. In Orange County as a whole, alcohol-related crashes claimed 62 lives and injured 1,340 people, during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the female driver was under the influence when she collided with the victim’s wheelchair. Under California law, anyone who rides a motorized wheelchair or scooter is considered a pedestrian. Under California Vehicle Code Section 467 (b), the term “pedestrian” includes any person “who is operating a self-propelled wheelchair, motorized tricycle, or motorized quadricycle and, by reason of physical disability, is otherwise unable to move about as a pedestrian.”
The circumstances of the collision are still under investigation. However, officials have determined that Quinn was under the influence at the time. Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal 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.”
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased car accident victim can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. 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.