Angelica Lopez, 62, and Nathan Lizarraga, 14, both of Whittier, were killed in a car crash in Pico Rivera, which officials say was caused by a DUI driver. According to a report in the Whittier Daily News, the fatal crash occurred early morning on May 14. Officials say a black Mercedes sedan heading east on Whittier Boulevard collided with a Honda sedan traveling west.
The woman driving the Honda, Lopez, and the teen who was a passenger in the Mercedes, Lizarraga, died while the Honda’s passenger, a woman in her 60s, was critically injured. The driver of the Mercedes, 28-year-old Carlos Hernandez, was also injured. He was arrested on suspicion of murder, driving under the influence, and DUI causing injury. The investigation is ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the families of Lopez and Lizarraga for their tragic loss. We also wish the severely injured victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep all those affected in your thoughts and prayers.
Dangers of Driving Under the Influence
Whether one drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the danger of getting into a car accident is exponentially higher when one is impaired. Both alcohol and drugs reduce brain function, impair thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination – all abilities that are crucial to operating a vehicle in a safe manner.
Alcohol, for example, has negative effects on the central nervous system. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. However, studies show that even blood alcohol levels within legal limits could significantly increase the risk of a crash.
Justice for Victims
If you have lost a loved one in a DUI crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. Injured victims may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical costs, lost income, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. An experienced Los Angeles DUI victims’ lawyer will be able to help victims and families better understand their legal rights and options.