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Man in Wheelchair Struck by Suspected Drunk Driver


A pedestrian who was crossing the street in a wheelchair was struck and fatally injured by a suspected drunk driver in Long Beach. According to a KTLA news report, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred late on June 12 at the intersection of Stearns Street and Radnor Avenue.

Ongoing Investigation

Responding officers found a 2016 Honda Civic that had struck a male pedestrian. Officers performed life-saving measures on the pedestrian until paramedics arrived and continued the efforts. However, the pedestrian succumbed to his injuries. A preliminary investigation revealed that the 2016 Honda Civic was traveling westbound on Stearns when the pedestrian was crossing south on Stearns in an unmarked crosswalk.

The vehicle struck the pedestrian. The driver, identified as 26-year-old Joseph Maez of Long Beach was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact Long Beach Police Department Collision’s Investigation Detail at 562-570-7355.

We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of this deceased victim. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Laws and Liability Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Honda was not only under the influence of alcohol, but also struck and fatally injured a pedestrian who was crossing the street in an unmarked crosswalk. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), motorists are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Motorists are also required under the law to yield the right of way of pedestrians who are walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks. 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.”

In addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, DUI drivers can be held financially responsible for the damages and losses they cause. Families of deceased victims would be well advised to contact a DUI victims’ lawyer who can help protect their legal rights and options.



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