Vinh Tran, 36, was killed in a Fountain Valley bicycle accident, which officials say, involved a suspected DUI driver. According to a KTLA news report, the fatal collision occurred the morning of December 27, 2014 at Brookhurst Street and Heil Avenue. Police say a Jeep driven by 37-year-old William Joseph Klein struck Tran who was riding his bike south on Brookhurst.
The Jeep hit the rear of the bicycle, which was traveling in the same direction in the street adjacent to the curb. Tran died from his injuries two days later. Klein remained at the scene and was arrested. He was booked on suspicion of felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Anyone who saw the incident is asked to contact police at 714-593-4484.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Vinh Tranh. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
There were no fatalities, but 36 injuries reported in the city of Fountain Valley as a result of bicycle collisions, according to California Highway Patrol’s 2012 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). Countywide, 13 people died and 1,441 were injured due to bicycle accidents during the same year. Also, in Fountain Valley, 56 people died and 1,346 were injured as a result of DUI collisions in 2012.
California DUI Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver, Klein, was under the influence of prescription drugs when he rear-ended the bicyclist. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, including prescription or even over-the-counter drugs that cause drowsiness. 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).
Justice for Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal penalties, at-fault drivers can also be held financially liable for the damages they cause. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. A skilled Fountain Valley personal injury lawyerwho has experience financially pursuing DUI drivers will be able to ensure that victims’ families receive justice and fair compensation for their significant losses.