A car accident in Orange involving two vehicles left one person fatally injured.
According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred the afternoon of July 18 at the intersection of West Sycamore Avenue and North Main Street.
Police say a man driving a Mazda Protégé was in a left turn lane waiting to transition from northbound Main to westbound Sycamore when his vehicle was hit from behind by a Honda Accord.
Police said the driver of the Honda, later identified as 23-year-old Manuel Antonio Sanchez Contreras, was driving at a high rate of speed when he struck the Mazda. The driver of the Protégé was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle. Contreras was uninjured and remained at the scene. He was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Police asked anyone with information about the crash to contact investigators at 714-744-7444. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased victim for their tremendous loss. 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 may have been under the influence and also speeding when he rear-ended the Mazda being driven by the victim. Under California Vehicle Code 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
It is also unlawful to drive at a speed that is unsafe for traffic, roadway and weather conditions. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, DUI drivers can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Family members of deceased victims may be able to file wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for losses including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to help victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.