Sgt. Dave Welch of the Rohnert Park Police Department was injured in a car accident the morning of September 5, 2010, which officials say, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a Bay City News report, the injury crash occurred when 27-year-old Joshua Hicks, who was traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control of his vehicle and crashed head-on into a police SUV. Hicks attempted to leave the scene of the crash, but Sgt. Welch used the SUV to push Hicks’ vehicle against the curb. Hicks was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Initial tests showed that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.16 percent — which is over twice the legal limit. Sgt. Welch suffered injuries to his arm, back and shoulder.
My heart goes out to this police officer. I hope his injuries are not severe and pray for his speedy and complete recovery. I’m glad that he was able to stop the driver, who was apparently intoxicated and uncooperative to officials, from getting back on the road and possibly injuring others.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but nine injuries involving DUI collisions in Rohnert Park. In Sonoma County as a whole, 17 people died and 264 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime under California law. 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.” Hicks also tried to leave the scene of a crash, which is also illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a).
In such cases, where negligence or wrongdoing is apparent, injured victims would be well-advised to consult an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also be able to advise victims about how their own car insurance policy applies to an incident where the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.
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The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.