Pablo Barrios, 26, was killed in a head-on car accident in Palmdale in which another man was suspected of driving under the influence. According to an NBC news report, the incident occurred on 90th Street East, south of Avenue Q the night of July 17. A preliminary investigation determined that 20-year-old Jamie Gonzalez was driving south on 90th Street at an undetermined speed approaching a vehicle going northbound and driven by Barrios when Gonzalez veered into the northbound lane and slammed head-on into Barrios’ vehicle.
Ongoing Crash Investigation
Barrios suffered fatal injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. Gonzalez suffered major injuries and was transported to a hospital. Two passengers in Barrios’ vehicle, 26-year-old Lourdes Santos and 4-year-old Sophia Barrios, also suffered major injuries and were hospitalized.
Officials said this was the 20th person killed so far this year in the Antelope Valley CHP jurisdiction. CHP officials said these types of senseless deaths and injuries can be prevented by obeying traffic signs and signals, the speed limit and not driving while impaired. Gonzalez has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The investigation into this case is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the Barrios family for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the woman and child who have suffered major injuries in this horrific crash.
Laws and Liability Issues
In this case, it appears that a driver who may have been under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs may have caused the fatal crash. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The same section also states that it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. Individuals who are determined to have caused fatal injuries while driving under the influence may face vehicular manslaughter charges.
In addition to criminal penalties, drivers who cause serious injuries and damages while operating under the influence can also be held financially responsible. Injured victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families of deceased victims can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit as well. An experienced Los Angeles DUI victims’ lawyer can help injured victims and families evaluate their legal rights and options.