A 10-year-old girl was critically injured in a Buena Park car accident that led to the arrest of a 48-year-old Newport Beach man. According to a news article in The Orange County Register, the drunk driving collision occurred on Franklin Street in Buena Park, the evening of May 25, 2012. Officials say the girl was crossing the street near her home when a pickup truck hit her. She was taken to a nearby medical center where she was listed in “serious to extreme condition.” The driver, Edward McLaughlin, 48, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
My heart goes out to the young victim of this Orange County pedestrian accident. I wish her the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.
Orange County DUI Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 34 injuries involving DUI collisions in Buena Park. Throughout Orange County, 62 fatalities and 1,340 injuries were reported due to alcohol-related crashes, during that same year.
What Caused This Pedestrian Accident?
It is not clear from the report if the young pedestrian was crossing at an intersection or in a crosswalk. It does appear, however, that the driver of the pickup was under the influence of alcohol. 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.” The law also states that it is illegal for motorists to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher.
In such cases, drunk drivers, in addition to facing criminal charges, can be held civilly liable for the resulting injuries and damages. Injured victims or their families can seek compensation from the at-fault motorist for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Pedestrian accident victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk drivers. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will be able to better advise the victim’s family about how their own car insurance policy applies to an incident where the at-fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.