A male pedestrian was killed after suffering fatal injuries in a car crash that officials say was caused by a driver who was under the influence. According to a KTLA news report, 27-year-old Jacob Gralitzer was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence after the incident that occurred the night of Aug. 1 near several businesses on Melrose and Martel avenues.
Chain Reaction Collision
Police said Gralitzer was eastbound on Melrose Avenue in a 2018 Infiniti Q60S when he struck an Acura traveling in the opposite direction and attempting to turn on Martel Avenue. The Acura ran off the road and struck the pedestrian standing on the sidewalk in the southeast corner of the intersection. LAPD officials said initially that the victim was on an electric scooter when he was struck in a chain-reaction collision, but later said he was simply standing there.
Both drivers remained at the scene to talk to police. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Videos from the scene show good Samaritans apparently performing CPR on the victim before paramedics arrived. The investigation into this fatal crash is ongoing. Anyone with information about the crash is urged to contact detectives at 213-473-0234.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of this deceased victim. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Infiniti was under the influence when he crashed into the Acura, which in turn struck the pedestrian. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under the California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges, at-fault drivers can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer will be able to advise families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.