Police have arrested a 68-year-old man in connection with a Fresno car accident, which severely injured 16-year-old Shaela Warkentin. According to a CBS 47 news report, the major injury crash occurred at the intersection of Barstow and Maroa avenues on March 8, 2011. Warkentin was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped at a red light and rear-ended by a vehicle. The suspect, Douglas Lindsey, had high levels of the painkiller, Vicodin, in his blood, officials say, when he hit the back of the stopped car. The force of the collision drove Shaela’s head through the rear windshield causing severe damage to her face and head. She is still recovering in a local hospital, but has lost an eye and lost sight in the other eye. Lindsey has been charged with driving under the influence.
My heart goes out to young Shaela Warkentin and her family members. It is heartbreaking to hear that she has lost her ability to see and has suffered severe facial and head injuries. She will certainly be in my thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 17 fatalities and 177 injuries involving DUI collisions in Fresno. In Fresno County as a whole, alcohol-related crashes claimed 55 lives and injured 444 people during the same year.
California DUI Laws
Under California law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs – be it recreational or prescription. 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.”
Based on this news report, Lindsey was under the influence of prescription drugs when he rear-ended Shaela’s vehicle. It is not clear if he was speeding or distracted in addition to driving under the influence. In such cases, the at-fault motorist can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused to victims. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, cost of surgery, rehabilitation, loss of livelihood as well as cost of continued treatment and care.
Car accident victims or their families would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced Fresno personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.
Seriously injured in a Fresno County car accident? Want to know if you have a case? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation for your injuries? Want justice? Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after a Fresno DUI accident. Call 800-259-6373. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Fresno personal injury lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your case by attorneys who have represented over 6,000 clients since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a friendly law firm in a comfortable environment.