Jacob Jack Martinez, 24, of Hemet, was killed in a bicycle accident on December 28, 2008 after a suspected drunk driver ran a red light and struck him. According to this news article in The Desert Sun, Keokialii Young, 21, was driving a pickup west on Florida Avenue when he ran a red light on Buena Vista Street and hit Martinez, who was riding his bike across the street in a marked crosswalk. Young then drove off the road into a planter. Martinez was taken to a local hospital where he died of his fatal injuries. Young was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and on manslaughter charges. The eyewitness to this tragic accident was an on duty Hemet police officer.
My heart goes out to the family of Jacob Martinez for their heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
I hope Young, the suspected drunk driver, is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He broke several laws and vehicle codes here. First and foremost, he got behind the wheel drunk. Secondly, he ran a red light, which is a serious traffic violation. And finally, he struck and killed a bicyclist, who was crossing legally in a marked crosswalk. Young apparently made no attempt to slow down, stop or yield right-of-way to Martinez. Instead, he blew through a red light and struck Martinez.
California drunk driving accidents are at their highest during the holidays. According to the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), there were a total of 316 traffic accident fatalities in Riverside County out of which 136 involved the use of alcohol.
In this Hemet fatal bicycle accident, there is no question that the drunk driver, Young, must be held civilly and criminally responsible for his actions. Martinez’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of a reputed Riverside personal injury attorney, who has experience going after drunk drivers and holding them accountable for injuries, death or damages they have caused. Our firm has been financially pursuing more than 50 drunk drivers on behalf of our clients. We will not rest until we hold them accountable for the damage, grief and heartache they have caused our clients. Martinez’s family in this case should be able to file a wrongful death claim for the compensation of medical or funeral expenses and loss of wages.