Four people were injured in a wrong-way car accident in Huntington Beach after a driver crossed over a center median and hit several vehicles the night of March 17, 2016 – St. Patrick’s Day. According to a City News Service report, the crash was reported in the 17300 block of Beach Boulevard. The driver was traveling north on Beach Boulevard when he drove over a raised median and into the path of multiple cars.
Huntington Beach police are looking into whether the wrong-way driver was drinking. But, they say, he was “exhibiting some of the characteristics of someone who was drinking.” Four others sustained life-threatening injuries. The crash is still under investigation by Huntington Beach police. No charges have been filed pending the official investigation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this wrong-way crash. We wish them all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), five people were killed and 110 were injured as a result of DUI collisions. In Orange County as a whole, 60 fatalities and 1,235 injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
The most common cause of wrong-way crashes is impaired driving. Wrong-way collisions occur relatively infrequently, accounting only for about 3 percent of accidents on divided highways. But they are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than other types of highway accidents. A majority of these accidents tend to be high- speed, head-on crashes, which are often deadly.
In this particular case, officials suspect that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Driving 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 involving intoxicated drivers, in addition to criminal charges, drivers can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses sustained by the victims. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Huntington Beach personal injury attorney who has successfully financially pursued drunk drivers on behalf of DUI victims.