A teen pedestrian suffered critical injuries in a Long Beach pedestrian accident, which police say, was caused by a driver suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred the morning of June 5 at the intersection of Market Street and Olive Avenue. When police arrived, they saw a 15-year-old boy lying in the roadway. He was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries.
Officials also identified Christopher Manuel Rodriguezinigo, 19, as the driver of the 2009 Ford Flex that was involved in this major injury crash. Investigators determined that Rodriguezinigo was driving east on Market Street from Lime Avenue when the teen crossed northbound from the south side of the street mid-block between Lime and Olive avenues. Rodriguezinigo said he was unable to stop in time and struck the pedestrian. A Drug Recognition Expert determined that Rodriguezinigo was possibly driving under the influence of marijuana. He was arrested at the scene and booked on suspicion of DUI.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the seriously injured teen. We wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Marijuana Use and Traffic Safety
Marijuana for recreational use is legal in California. However, it remains illegal to operate while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Since it became known that the drug would become legalized, law enforcement agencies statewide have been scrambling to train their officers to detect marijuana in drivers’ systems.
Many departments have invested in Breathalyzer machines that can detect THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Training police officers is going to become even more important as marijuana use increases in California. Other states such as Colorado and Washington, which have legalized marijuana have also seen and increase in drugged driving cases.
Holding DUI Drivers Accountable
In addition to facing criminal charges, DUI drivers can also be held civilly liable for the injuries damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims and their families would also be well advised to contact an experienced Long Beach DUI victims’ lawyer who will aggressively pursue the at-fault parties and help ensure that you receive justice and fair compensation for your tremendous losses.