Three Baldwin Park women were killed after a wrong-way driver crashed into their vehicle on the 210 Freeway early morning on Dec. 17. According to a KTLA news report, the fatal crash occurred when the women, identified as Patricia Guadalupe Araujuo, 60, Dinora Elizabeth Ortiz, 62, and Ana Patricia Zuniga, 56, were heading home after a Christmas party in Pacoima.
Driver Had Prior DUI Conviction
They were traveling east on the freeway in a Toyota Corolla when a wrong-way driver in a Chevy Impala crashed into them. Araujuo and Ortiz were pronounced dead at the scene while Zuniga was taken to an area hospital where she died later from her injuries. Ortiz and Zuniga were sisters and Araujuo was their friend. The driver of the Impala, identified as 30-year-old Ruben Adrian Gonzalez, died in the crash.
Police said he had a prior DUI conviction in 2010. His driving privileges were revoked but reinstated in May 2012. Authorities are still looking into whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in this fatal crash. California Highway Patrol officials said they did get the call about the wrong-way driver, but couldn’t stop him in time. The investigation into this fatal crash is still ongoing.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members and friends of these three women who have been killed in this tragic crash. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), even though wrong-way collisions are infrequent and account for only about 3 percent of accidents on the nation’s highways, they are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries compared to other types of highway accidents. A vast majority of wrong-way collisions occur on freeways or highways and tend to be high-speed, head-on crashes. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs seems to be the most common cause of wrong-way car accidents.
In such cases, the at-fault driver or estate of the deceased at-fault driver can be held financially responsible for the victims’ wrongful death. Families of the decedents in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.