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San Francisco Area DUI Car Accident Kills Woman


Kathleen L. O’Daniel, 54, was killed in a San Francisco car accident the afternoon of September 14, 2009 after being struck by a suspected drunk driver. According to a CBS news report, 55-year-old Judy Shafer was driving a 2002 Jeep Liberty north on Llano Road in Santa Rosa when it crossed the double-yellow line and crashed head-on with a 1998 Honda Civic driven by O’Daniel, who died at the scene. O’Daniel’s 15-year-old daughter suffered broken bones and internal injuries and was taken to an area hospital. Shafer was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Kathleen O’ Daniel for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them. I also hope her daughter who was seriously injured in this crash makes a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep this family in your prayers.

DUI Car Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were five fatalities and 98 injuries involving alcohol-related car accidents in Santa Rosa. In Sonoma County as a whole, 24 deaths and 324 injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related car accidents in 2007.

Based on this news account, it seems the driver of the Jeep caused this tragic California car accident. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a serious crime. California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) states: “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.” The same code section also states that it is illegal for any person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more to drive a vehicle.

California Car Accident Law

A driver, whose driving under the influence, results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges, as Shafer does in this case. California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated 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.”

O’Daniel’s family would be well-advised to contact an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer who will make sure that they receive fair compensation. In this case, in addition to wrongful death, O’Daniel’s daughter can also seek compensation for medical expenses and other related damages. If the driver, Shafer, was on-the-job or running an errand for someone at the time of the accident, her employer or the person for whom she was running the errand can also be held liable. The best California personal injury law firms will always offer a free and comprehensive consultation to injured victims and their families.

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 source for the facts 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, please contact us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. Most of the best law firms will provide accident victims a free consultation.

We cannot fully inform any party or family member about their rights, options or the economic viability of any claim for compensation without a full investigation and consultation. We will not be conducting an investigation into this matter unless we are retained by a party. We will provide a free, confidential consultation to any, not at fault, person named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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