Jeremy Salisbury, 31, was killed in an Irvine car accident, which officials say, may have been caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal crash occurred early morning on Aug. 18 on the transition road from the northbound 5 Freeway to the northbound 405 Freeway in the Irvine Spectrum area.
California Highway Patrol officials said a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck driven by 29-year-old Adrian Marquez was traveling at a high rate of speed when the vehicle went off the road and crashed into a metal sign pole. Salisbury, the front-seat passenger was ejected from the vehicle. Officials believe based on preliminary investigations that he was not wearing his seatbelt. Marquez was transported to an area trauma center with major injuries. He was arrested after officials determined that he was under the influence of alcohol. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Jeremy Salisbury for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
DUI Crashes in Orange County
There were 12 fatalities and 919 injuries as a result of car accidents in the city of Irvine, according to CHP’s 2014 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). In Orange County as a whole, 165 people died and 13,736 were injured due to traffic accidents. Of those, 66 fatalities and 1,294 injuries involved crashes where a driver was impaired.
Justice for Victims
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the pickup truck was impaired at the time of the crash and was also speeding when he lost control and hit the post. Police say the front seat passenger, Salisbury, was not buckled up. However, it would be best to perform an independent investigation and analysis to determine whether he was wearing his seatbelt or if he was ejected because of a defective seatbelt. A product defect law firm that routinely does such testing will be able to let victims family know if a product liability claim exists.
DUI drivers, in addition to facing criminal charges, could also be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages they cause to others including passengers. In such cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering, lost future income and loss of love and companionship.