Buena Park police have arrested a man who was believed to have been under the influence of marijuana when he fatally struck 51-year-old San Tec Tamayo. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred the night of June 23. Officers found Tamayo unresponsive. He had been hit while crossing the street with his family in a marked crosswalk at Western Avenue and Jackson Way. The suspect’s vehicle was traveling southbound when it struck Tamayo, officials said. No one else was injured.
The driver, 32-year-old Jason Rarey of Anaheim remained at the scene. Police said they conducted further investigation, which showed Rarey was possibly under the influence of marijuana. Rarey faces a murder charge because of a prior DUI conviction. He was being held in lieu of a $1 million bail. Anyone with information is asked to call Buena Park police at 714-562-3941.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members and friends of San Tec Tamayo for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
While California residents voted in 2016 to legalize marijuana for recreational use statewide, it is still very much illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. A study recently conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) analyzed insurance claims for vehicle collisions filed between January 2012 and October 2016. Researchers compared the claims in states that had recently legalized marijuana with claims in similar neighboring states that had not and found that states with legal pot had 3 percent higher rates of marijuana-related fatal crashes.
Laws and Liability Issues
It will take some time to analyze California’s numbers before any type of determination can be made with regard to the link between legalizing pot and the number of crashes related to marijuana use. However, it is important that DUI victims understand that they have legal rights. In addition to criminal prosecution, those driving under the influence of marijuana can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause.
Families of deceased DUI crash victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship, by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to advise victims regarding their legal rights and options.