John Crouch, 68, was killed in a Huntington Beach bicycle accident, which officials said involved a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, investigators say the bicyclist was crossing Pacific Coast Highway at 1st Street on the afternoon of May 27 when a silver Toyota Yaris that was traveling westbound on Pacific Coast Highway struck him.
The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with officials who identified the driver as a 23-year-old man from Bloomington. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The driver’s name was not released and no further information was available.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of John Crouch for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Toyota may have been intoxicated at the time of the crash. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
In this particular case, according to preliminary investigations, police have said the bicyclist failed to yield the right of way to the vehicle. However, in this case, that still means that the driver of the Toyota will face criminal charges and penalties. He may also be held financially responsible for the loss suffered by the victim’s family.
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased crash victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering (endured by the victim), and loss of love, care, and companionship.
Under California laws, motorists have the duty of care to pedestrians and others on the roadway. This means that they have a legal obligation to drive carefully. Driving under the influence is an example of how drivers violate that duty of care. So, if you have been injured by a DUI driver or if you have lost a loved one in a DUI crash, it is important that you contact an experienced Huntington Beach DUI victims’ lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and help ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.