Jorge A. Perez, 34, and his passenger, 31-year-old Beatriz Castillo, were killed in a Los Angeles County car accident, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the fatal collision occurred when 39-year-old Salvador Tamayo, who was westbound on the 60 Freeway just east of Atlantic Boulevard the night of August 9, 2012, crashed his 2003 Ford F-250 pickup truck into a disabled car on the 60 Freeway. Perez and Castillo, who were in the 2008 Honda Civic, died from their injuries. Officials say Tamayo “failed to react in time” and struck the Honda. Tamayo was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Perez and Castillo for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 16 injuries reported as a result of DUI collisions in Monterey Park in 2009. In Los Angeles County as a whole, 204 people died and 4,672 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
California DUI Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the pickup truck was under the influence at the time of the collision. 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.”
A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges. California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. An experiencedLos Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families in such cases about their legal rights and options.