Shaun Eagleson, 30, was killed in a Newport Beach bicycle accident after officials say a self-described drug counselor struck and killed him while under the influence. According to a news report in the Daily Pilot, the fatal accident occurred the evening of October 19, 2014. Officials say 23-year-old Neil Storm Stephany was westbound on East Coast Highway in a Toyota Tacoma when he hit Eagleson who was on a bicycle. Eagleson died a little later. Stephany apparently left the scene of the accident, but police arrested him near Newport Center Drive and East Coast Highway.
When he was being arrested Stephany told police he was a drug counselor. Court records show he had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunk driving charge in 2011. He also has a history of drug offenses. Stephany is facing a murder charge in connection with this incident. The investigation is ongoing. Our deepest condolences go out to everyone who knew and loved Shaun Eagleson for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
OC Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2012 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were two fatalities and 94 injuries as a result of bicycle accidents in Newport Beach. In Orange County as a whole, 13 people died and 1,441 were injured due to bike accidents during the same year. Also countywide, during that period, 56 fatalities and 1,346 injuries were reported due to DUI crashes.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the pickup truck, Stephany, was not only under the influence when he struck and fatally injured Eagleson, but also left the scene of the accident leaving the injured bicyclist lying on the roadway. Outrageous! We are relieved to note that police were able to arrest him soon after the incident.
Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Also, California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) requires drivers to stop immediately and remain at the scene of a crash. In addition to exchanging pertinent information such as driver’s license and insurance, drivers must also do what they can to help the injured victim.
However, in this case, officials say the driver did none of the above and fled the scene.
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including but not limited to medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Orange County bicycle accident lawyer will be able to stay on top 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 evaluations to injured victims and their families.