A 13-year-old girl and her mother died on Jan. 2 after their car was struck by another vehicle whose driver ran a red light and was driving under the influence, officials said.
According to a report in the Whittier Daily News, Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies arrested 26-year-old Brittany Lopez of Las Vegas on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license.
Officials say speed, alcohol, and drugs factored into the collision. Lopez was driving north on Studebaker Road when she allegedly ran a red light and hit a Chevy Camaro. At least one of those cars is believed to have struck a Toyota Camry whose driver was hospitalized and then released. Both the occupants of the Camaro died from their injuries.
The victims have not yet been identified. Officials said the investigation is ongoing as they are awaiting the results of toxicology tests. They are also trying to determine how fast the suspect was going right before the collision occurred.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of these victims for their tremendous loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver who triggered this crash was not only operating the vehicle without a valid license and under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs but also ran a red light at an intersection causing the fatal collision. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
California Vehicle Code section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
Justice for Victims and Families
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, drivers who operate with reckless disregard for public safety can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages, and losses they cause. Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI victims’ lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and make sure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.