Andrew Garcia, 26, was killed in an Anaheim DUI crash after a pickup truck struck him while he was skateboarding. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred around midnight on March 12, 2016. Police say Garcia was skateboarding northbound on Magnolia Avenue near Ball Road when a Nissan Titan, driven by 63-year-old Jose Frutos Gonzalez, struck him.
Gonzalez fled after hitting Garcia. Witnesses followed him to an apartment complex in the 900 block of South Dale Avenue. Garcia was transported to an area trauma center where he died the following day from his injuries. Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The investigation is still ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of Andrew Garcia for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Nissan was not only under the influence, but struck the skateboarder and left him lying in the roadway, critically wounded and exposed to further danger. Not only is leaving the scene of an injury or fatal crash inhumane and irresponsible, but it is also illegal.
According to California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a): “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.” Under the law, motorists are required to stop and remain at the scene, regardless of whose fault the incident was.
So, in this case, even if the pedestrian was skateboarding on the roadway, as officials suspect, the driver had a duty to stop and remain at the scene of the incident. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is also illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a).
Justice for Victims and Families
We are relieved to note that the hit-and-run driver in this case was apprehended. Families of deceased hit-and-run victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County hit-and-run accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and help ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected. A knowledgeable car accident attorney will also be able to advise families about how the uninsured motorist clause of their auto insurance policy might apply to a hit-and-run collision or to an incident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.