At least four people, including two journalists from a local television station, were seriously injured in a car accident after an SUV crashed into a storefront the afternoon of March 19 at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Hollywood. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the incident occurred when an SUV struck five pedestrians before plowing into the glass storefront of a liquor store on the southwest corner of the intersection, one of the busiest and most famous crossings in the area.
Five people were taken to a trauma center, at least four of whom were listed in serious to critical condition. Among the injured were a FOX11 Los Angeles reporter and photographer. Hal Eisner and Joab Perez were preparing to report on the reopening of El Capitan Theater when the SUV struck them.
They were among four people taken to the hospital. Two tourists from Washington were also injured. One suffered severe injuries including broken ribs and a broken leg. The other suffered cuts and bruises, officials said. The SUV’s driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this horrific crash. We wish them the very best for a speedy and full recovery.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on the news report, it appears that the driver of the SUV, who was under the influence, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the pedestrians and then into the building. It is illegal under California law to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. 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.”
In such cases, 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 seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims in such cases would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI victims’ lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.