One person was killed in a fiery car crash in Orange, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal car accident occurred the night of May 12, 2016 at the intersection of East Chapman Avenue and South Yorba Street. Police say 32-year-old Stephanie Marine DeRosas was driving west on Chapman when she rear-ended a vehicle near South Yorba Street. The impact of the collision caused the rear-ended car to go into the intersection where it sideswiped another vehicle and caught fire.
When officials arrived at the scene, the rear-ended vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. The driver, who was the sole occupant of that vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. The gender and the identity of that driver has not yet been determined. DeRosas was hospitalized with serious injuries, but is expected to be booked on suspicion of DUI. The female driver of the side-swiped vehicle was also injured, but she is expected survive. DeRosas was also driving on a license that was suspended on Oct. 27, 2014 for negligent operation, the Register reported. The investigation is ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of this deceased car accident victim. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
California DUI Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver who caused this horrific accident by striking the victim’s vehicle from behind was under the influence at the time. She also apparently has had a number of prior violations and was driving on a suspended license. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal for motorists to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In this particular case, DeRosas may also likely face vehicular manslaughter charges.
Wrongful Death Claim
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims could file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. Families of deceased victims would be well advised to retain the services of an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and explore all avenues of compensation on their behalf.