An investigation is underway into a fatal crash in Irvine that killed a woman in her 60s. Kyu Chen, 61, was killed in an Irvine car accident, which officials believe might have involved a suspected DUI driver.
According to a City News Service report, the fatal collision occurred early on the morning of Sept. 27. Police say the driver of a Toyota Prius collided with a Mercedes-Benz at the intersection of Sand Canyon Avenue and Irvine Center Drive.
DUI Drugs Suspected
The man behind the wheel of the Mercedes whom Irvine police identified as 21-year-old Luis Marcial Diaz, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. Police said they made the determination based on observing the driver. Chen died from her injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Kyu Chen for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it is unclear what type of substance the driver may have been under the influence of. Regardless, the law is very clear on driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is prohibited.
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 under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, DUI drivers can also be held financially liable for the injuries, damages, and losses they cause. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering, and loss of love, care, and companionship. If the at-fault driver was on the job at the time of the collision, his or her employer can also be held liable.
Families of victims would be well advised to contact an experienced DUI victims’ lawyer who will fight for your rights in a car accident and wrongful death lawsuit and help you secure justice and fair compensation for your tremendous losses.