Patricia Ledezma, 34, and her two daughters, Stephanie, 8, and Dayana, 4, were all killed in a Placentia pedestrian accident the night of August 20, 2016. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the mother and daughters were walking home after a party when they were mowed down by a car in the 800 block of West La Jolla Street.
Police found the driver, 27-year-old Nicholas Stephen Munoz, standing next to the car. He was booked on suspicion of murder and driving under the influence. Witnesses told police that Munoz was speeding as well. Neighbors told the Register that the street where this particular accident occurred needs stop signs and crosswalks. Drivers sped through this street often and posed a danger to children and adults.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Ledezma family for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), one death and 10 injuries were reported in the city of Placentia as a result of pedestrian accidents. In Orange County as a whole, 52 people died and 784 were injured due to pedestrian accidents during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver, Munoz, was operating his vehicle under the influence and going above the 35 mph speed limit on that residential street. It is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is also illegal to go above the posted speed limit or travel at a speed that is dangerous given traffic, roadway and weather conditions. In addition, motorists have a duty to exercise care and caution while driving on all streets, particularly residential streets and school zones where children are likely to be playing or crossing.
In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file what is known as a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Orange County car accident lawyer can help injured victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.