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Fatal DUI Collision also Involves Hit-and-Run Driver


A man from Planada was killed in a Merced County car accident, which police report, involved a drunk driver who left the scene of the accident, the morning of January 29, 2011. According to a news article in The Merced Sun, the fatal DUI collision occurred on Bear Creek Drive near Plainsburg Road in Planada. Police say that Everado Soriano, 23, was under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of his 1991 Honda Accord. The car veered off the roadway before overturning in an irrigation canal. Soriano got out of the vehicle and left his passenger the scene of the accident. It is unclear at this time if the fatally injured passenger died in the accident or from drowning after not being able to get out of the vehicle. Soriano has been found and arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the Planada man killed in this tragic accident. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

Drunk Driving Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 14 people were killed and 75 were injured in DUI collisions in the unincorporated areas of Merced County. During that same year, there were 17 fatalities and 136 injuries reported due to alcohol-related car accidents in Merced County.

DUI Laws

Police say the driver of the Honda here had a blood alcohol concentration above .10 percent. The legal limit for BAC is .08 percent. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges. In this case, the driver, Soriano, not operated the vehicle under the influence and crashed it, but abandoned his passenger in a canal. Appalling! I’m glad officials were able to apprehend him and take him off our roadways.

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.” Drivers who cause fatal accidents while under the influence of alcohol may also be held civilly liable for the resulting damages.

Liability Issues

The family of a car accident victim killed in a DUI collision may pursue financial compensation for their loss by filing a wrongful death claim. Compensation may be available for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost future wages and loss of love and companionship. Families in such cases would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced California personal injury lawyer, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and make sure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. For more information about the dangers of drunk driving, please contact the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at

Lost a family member in a California car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?

Call your best friends in the legal industry after a Merced County DUI car accident. Call 800-259-6373. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.

Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys California wrongful death lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.

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