Mai Hayakawa, 22, was killed in an Anaheim car accident which involved a suspected drunk driver, The Orange County Register reports. California Highway Patrol officials say that the fatal car crash occurred the night of August 22, 2010 on the southbound 57 Freeway’s transition road to the 91 Freeway.
Hayakawa was a passenger in a Toyota Celica driven by 24-year-old Michael Keating, who officials say, was under the influence at the time. The crash occurred when Keating attempted to pass a semi-trailer by driving on the right shoulder of the road. He lost control of the car, went off the roadway and struck a palm tree. Hayakawa was killed. Another female passenger in the Toyota, 22-year-old Alyssa Unruh, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Keating was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mai Hayakawa for their tragic and profound loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Drunk Driving Statistics
According to CHP’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were eight fatalities and 181 injuries involving DUI collisions in Anaheim. In Orange County as a whole, 62 people died and 1,492 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashed during the same year.
California DUI Laws
It is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in California. 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.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
Claim for Compensation
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing may be involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for funeral expenses, lost future income, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. Injured victims can also seek compensation from the at-fault driver for their damages and losses.
An experienced Anaheim personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families about their legal rights and options. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will also advise victims’ families about how their auto insurance policy applies to case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. For more information about the dangers of drunk driving, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.
Do you believe that DUI penalties in California are severe enough to prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel intoxicated?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.