A 59-year-old Long Beach man has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and murder after officials determined he caused a bicycle accident in Costa Mesa that killed 12-year-old Noel Bascon. According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred near the intersection of Arlington and Junipero drives in Costa Mesa on the evening of Dec. 6.
Police say Noel and his father were riding their bikes when the boy was struck by a pickup truck that blew through a stop sign while eastbound on Arlington. A passerby attempted CPR on the boy and officers arrived to continue life-saving measures. But the boy succame to his injuries at a hospital.
Police arrested Richard Lavelle at the scene and his passenger who was booked on suspicion of possessing controlled substances and unlawful paraphernalia. Lavelle was also arrested on suspicion of murder, DUI and a parole violation. Police are urging anyone with additional information about the collision to contact them at 714-754-5264.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Noel Bascon for their tremendous loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
This incident is an example of the damage that negligent drivers can cause to bicyclists. In this case, officials say the motorist was not only operating the vehicle under the influence but also that he ran a stop sign at the intersection and struck the child. Both are violations of California Vehicle Code. It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
California law also requires drivers to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and proceed with caution. According to California Vehicle Code section 21802 (a): “The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal penalties, DUI drivers can also be held financially responsible for the terrible damages they cause. Families of DUI victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyer who has a successful track record of holding negligent drivers, especially DUI drivers, financially accountable.