One person was killed and three Santa Rosa residents — Domingo Layata-Mendez, 34, Nahum Avendano, 26, and Ignacio Hernandez-Rubio, 17 — where injured in a San Francisco car accident, which officials say, was caused by an unlicensed driver who later fled the scene of the crash. According to a CBS News report, the fatal collision occurred the morning of August 3, 2010, when 19-year-old Laureano Tarazas crashed a Chevy Astro van on Guerneville Road in Sonoma County.
All the occupants in the van were employees of Mid-Valley Labor Services of Madera and were on their way to Occidental. Tarazas was later arrested in his home on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run, driving without a license and infliction of great bodily injury.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the deceased victim. My heart also goes out to the three injured victims. I’m relieved to note that they are expected to survive. Please keep these injured victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Sonoma County Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), eight people were killed and 764 were injured as a result of car accidents in Santa Rosa. In Sonoma County, 36 deaths and 1,988 injuries were reported due to car accidents during the same year.
California Laws and Liability
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime under California Vehicle Code 20001 (a), which states: “The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident.”
Tarazas has also been charged with vehicle manslaughter. California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states the vehicular manslaughter is “the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
In this particular case, the injured victims as well as the family of the deceased victims would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Attorney, who will stay abreast of the official investigation and hold all the negligent parties accountable. In this case, it will be important to look into what part the employer of these farm workers played. Was the van supplied by the employer to ferry these workers from their respective homes to the farm? If that was the case, were they negligent in hiring an unqualified and unlicensed driver? A skilled car accident attorney will closely examine each and every one of these issues to determine fault and liability and ensure that the victims are fairly compensated for their injuries, damages and losses.
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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.