Mario Mazariegos Rivera, 43, and Stephany Cartagena-Bronfield, 26, were killed in a suspected DUI crash on the southbound Harbor (110) Freeway in South Los Angeles.
According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the fatal crash occurred early on the morning of Aug. 1 at Slauson Avenue. California Highway Patrol officials said the driver of a Buick triggered a two-vehicle crash that resulted in two tragic fatalities.
Rivera and Cartagena-Bronfield were in a 2014 Hyundai Elantra which was involved in a broadside crash with the 2017 Buick Regal. Rivera, who was driving the car, and Cartagena-Bronfield, his passenger, were both pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Buick, 30-year-old Warnervee Walton was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was the only occupant of the Buick. The incident is still under investigation. Anyone with more information is urged to contact CHP’s Central Los Angeles area office at 213-744-2331.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the two crash victims. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Buick may have been driving under the influence when the broadside crash occurred on the freeway. Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal under California law.
According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “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.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a).
In such cases, in addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, DUI drivers can also be held civilly liable for the losses they cause. Families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering, and loss of love, care, and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to uphold the rights of families and hold the wrongdoers accountable.