A suspected drunk driver has been arrested after a wrong-way head-on crash that killed a 24-year-old woman in Fontana early morning on March 7. According to a KTLA news report, Dina Mariesol Mora Martinez, 34, was headed the wrong way down Valley Boulevard near Cypress Avenue in her Chevy Colorado. At the same time, another driver in a Toyota Corolla was going west on Valley Boulevard.
California Highway Patrol officials said the two vehicles collided throwing an “unrestrained” passenger from one of the cars onto the roadway. The passenger, a 24-year-old woman from Cathedral City, was rushed to a hospital where she later died from her injuries.
The driver and two people in the Toyota sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Martinez was transported to an area hospital and then arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. The crash is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact CHP’s San Bernardino office at 909-383-4247.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased victim for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, the driver was not only under the influence of alcohol, but was also driving the wrong way and triggered a fatal head-on 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 also likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a), as Martinez does in this case.
In addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, DUI drivers can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation for their losses as well by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced San Bernardino County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to help advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.