Michael Bastien, 55, was killed in a Huntington Beach bicycle accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver.
According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the fatal incident occurred at the intersection of Bolsa Chica Road and Kona Drive the evening of September 1, 2014.
Officials say Bastien was riding a motorized bicycle southbound along Bolsa Chica Road from Kona Drive when
a 2013 Mercedes C250 struck him.
The driver of the Mercedes, identified as 51-year-old Michael Perez, was southbound as well. Bastien was transported in critical condition to an area hospital where he died. Perez was located nearby and interviewed by police.
He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI. The crash is still under investigation. Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact Huntington Beach police at 714-536-5670.
We at the law firm of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys offer our heartfelt condolences to the family members of Michael Bastien who have suffered a tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
DUI Crash Statistics
Two people died and 116 were injured in Huntington Beach in the year 2011 as a result of drunk or impaired drivers, according to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS).
In Orange County as a whole, 51 people died and 1,265 were injured due to DUI collisions during the same year.
California’s DUI Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Mercedes may have been under the influence when he struck the bicyclist.
Under California Vehicle Code 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges.
California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
Compensation for Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, drunk or impaired drivers can also be held financially liable for the victims’ wrongful death. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship.
An experienced lawyer with a legal practice that has represented victims of DUI collisions will be able to help families of victims better understand their legal rights and options.