A 27-year-old man died and his passenger was injured after a suspected drunk driver rear-ended their vehicle, which was stopped at a red light the night of May 8. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal collision occurred at the intersection of Woodbury Road and Libby Lane. Police said a white Nissan Titan was speeding eastbound on Woodbury when it crashed into the back of a Toyota Camry that was stopped for a red light.
The impact of the crash pushed the Toyota into the intersection and then smashed into two parked cars and a retaining wall. Officials said the driver of Nissan got out and fled on foot after the crash, but was arrested nearby. The Toyota’s driver died at the scene and a woman who was in the passenger seat was transported to an area trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police did not release the identity of the driver of the Nissan but said they evaluated him, suspected he was drunk, and booked him in Orange County jail. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased crash victim. We also wish the injured passenger the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, officials have said that the driver of the Nissan was not only traveling at a high rate of speed but may have also been intoxicated when he rear-ended the Toyota that was stopped for a red light.
California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” California Vehicle Code 23152 (a) also states that driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal.
In such cases, DUI drivers, in addition to facing criminal charges can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families that have lost a loved one because of the negligence of a DUI driver may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. An experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to advise individuals and families about their legal rights and options.