Katie Evans, 37, was killed in a Santa Clarita car accident involving a suspected DUI driver as she was returning home from the hospital, visiting her premature twins. According to a news report in The Signal, the heartbreaking tragedy occurred the night of October 6, 2017 when a 22-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle, veered into oncoming traffic and struck Evans’s vehicle head on near the intersection of Golden Valley Road and Valley Center Drive. The woman also sideswiped another vehicle, but didn’t cause major injuries to that driver. The suspect has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Officials expect to file more charges pending an official investigation.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Katie Evans for their tragic loss. The babies, whom family members say Evans visited every, single day, are particularly in our prayers.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2014 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one person died and 40 were injured in Santa Clarita as a result of alcohol-related collisions. During the same year, in Los Angeles County as a whole, 203 fatalities and 4,469 injuries were reported due to DUI-related crashes.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the woman who triggered this fatal collision may have been 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.” It is also against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher.
If investigators determine that the woman in this case was under the influence at the time of the crash or was at fault for the crash, in addition to facing criminal penalties, she could also be held financially responsible for the tremendous loss she has caused. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is a factor, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship.
Victims or their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer who has had a successful track record of representing DUI accident victims and fighting for their rights.