Three Las Vegas residents were killed and a fourth person was critically injured in a Huntington Beach car accident when the vehicle in which they were traveling was rear-ended by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the accident occurred on Pacific Coast Highway. Police found a red Toyota engulfed in flames. Four people were in the car when it was struck and three of them died at the scene. The other victim was transported to a trauma center.
Devastating Crash Involving Impaired Driver
The car, which came to a stop at Pacific Coast Highway and Magnolia Street, caught fire after it was struck from behind by a white Hyundai Sonata driven by 27-year-old Bani Duarte. She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. A man who saw the incident told the Register that he and his friends who were returning from the gym saw Duarte’s white vehicle swerving, at times speeding and hitting sidewalks.
He said he and his friends followed the woman and even asked her if she was okay when she stopped at metered parking. She apparently told the men who offered her a ride home, that she was fine, got in her car and drove away. As she approached the intersection where the red car was stopped in the center lane, she braked, but then sped up and struck the car, which immediately caught fire. The men who were behind Duarte saw the crash and called the police.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of the three people who were killed in this horrific crash. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the person who was severely injured. We wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
Based on this news report, it appears that the young people in the red Toyota were just enjoying their spring break in Orange County when tragedy struck. It is even more heartbreaking to hear that the woman who caused this crash was spotted by others and offered a ride, but declined and chose to get back in her car and drive even though she was impaired. This incident is an example of how a momentary lack of judgment can result in a horrible tragedy.
If you have been drinking, the only thing to do is not drive. Call a cab, take a ride from a friend or stay where you are and sleep it off. In addition to facing criminal charges, impaired drivers can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they case. If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost loved ones in a DUI crash, please contact an experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.