A 26-year-old woman, who was killed in a South El Monte DUI auto accident on October 31, 2008, has been identified as Nellyda Beltran-Cruz. She was pronounced dead at the accident scene, which occurred Halloween night at the intersection of Santa Anita and Elliot avenues. Our source for this blog is a news report in the Pasadena Star News.
The other man, whose name has not yet been released, was driving north on Santa Anita Avenue. Beltran-Cruz was driving west on Elliot Avenue when the two cars collided.
Traffic investigators say they suspect that the man was driving under the influence at the time of the accident. He has also been hospitalized in critical condition.
My heart goes out to the family of Nellyda Beltran Cruz who was tragically killed in this 10/31/08 intersection accident. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
Based on this newspaper report and initial traffic investigation reports, it appears that this accident was the fault of the male driver who struck Beltran Cruz. Any number of things could have happened here; the driver could have run a red light, failed to yield right of way or could have simply lost control of the vehicle because he was impaired. I’m sure we will find out more when the El Monte Police Department’s traffic investigators complete their accident report. I hope that the suspected drunk driver is brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
In such cases where a drunk driver causes a fatality, he or she will very likely face a vehicular manslaughter charges. 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…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.”
I’d urge the family of Nellyda Beltran-Cruz to retain the services of an experienced Southern California auto accident attorney who is passionate about pursuing drunk drivers and securing justice and fair compensation for victims and their families. A skilled personal injury attorney will also look into other factors that may have caused the accident such as a dangerous roadway or intersection.