Kaylee Alvarez, a 1-year-old girl, was killed and her 2-year-old brother Oscar, injured, in a car accident in Los Angeles after a suspected drunk driver slammed into a toy wagon the two children were on. The parents, Alex and Yesenia Alvarez, were pulling the wagon through a crosswalk in Long Beach, California. According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, the fatal accident occurred at the corner of 10th Street and Redondo Avenue the night of September 11, 2009 when the driver, 33-year-old Neely Lejon Dinkins, struck the wagon with his Dodge Durango SUV and then dragged the children along with the wagon unmindful of pleas from several onlookers to stop.
Tragic Hit-and-Run Car Accident
The SUV stopped briefly and Oscar fell out and was quickly picked up by a witness. But Kaylee was dragged for another mile until Dinkins stopped at his home. A police officer looked under the Dodge to discover the baby’s body. Kaylee was pronounced dead at the scene. Oscar is still hospitalized with cuts on his head and second-degree burns on his back from being dragged on the roadway, but his injuries are not life-threatening. Dinkins has been charged with second-degree murder, felony DUI causing injury and/or death and driving on a suspended license in connection with this fatal Long Beach car accident.
My heart goes out to the family of little Kaylee Alvarez and Oscar Alvarez. I offer my deepest condolences to parents Alex and Yesenia Alvarez for their tragic loss and the trauma they suffered watching their children being dragged down the roadway. I wish little Oscar the very best for a quick and complete recovery from his injuries. This family will certainly be in my prayers. According to the news reports, little Kaylee just took her first steps on the day she died. Heartbreaking! I hope the alleged hit-and-run driver, Neely Dinkins, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and gets what he deserves.
California Car Accident Laws
Hit-and-run is a serious crime in California. According to California Vehicle Code section 20001: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
It seems to me the fault for this tragic accident lies squarely on Dinkins’ shoulders because he was driving under the influence of alcohol, which is a violation of California Vehicle Code 23152 and he struck down these children in a marked crosswalk.
California Vehicle Code Section 21950 states: “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The same section also states that the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk “shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of a vehicle or take any other action relating to the operating of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”
Kaylee’s family would be well-advised to consult with a truly experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who will explain their legal rights and options. Given the fact that Dinkins was driving on a suspended license, I would not be surprised if he had prior DUIs and lacks insurance coverage. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Los Angeles will be able to tell the Alvarez family how their own car insurance policy will apply to a car accident involving an uninsured/underinsured driver or a hit-and-run car accident.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our source for the facts is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, please contact us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. Most of the best law firms will provide accident victims a free consultation.
We cannot fully inform any party or family member about their rights, options or the economic viability of any claim for compensation without a full investigation and consultation. We will not be conducting an investigation into this matter unless we are retained by a party. We will provide a free, confidential consultation to any, not at fault, person named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.