Emily Cathleen Dowdy, 24, died in a pedestrian accident in Pacific Beach after she was struck by a drunken driver while crossing the street. According to this news report in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the accident occurred the evening of February 7, 2009 when Dowdy was walking west on Mission Boulevard at Reed Avenue in a marked crosswalk. It was then that 45-year-old Alan Mabrey struck her with his 2004 Dodge Ram pickup.
Mabrey apparently left the scene of the accident, but returned about 30 minutes later and told officers he panicked and went to a Burger King to get something to eat. Both Mabrey and his passenger, the registered owner of the pickup truck, were intoxicated, San Diego police officials say. Officers also found eight empty beer cans and four unopened beer cans in the truck. Mabrey was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and hit-and-run charges. He is also facing gross vehicular manslaughter charges.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of Emily Kathleen Dowdy, who was taken away from them so tragically and suddenly. I offer my deepest condolences to everybody who knew and loved her.
According to statistics from the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System (SWITRS), a total of 273 fatal auto accidents were reported in San Diego County in 2006. Out of those 101 fatalities were due to alcohol related accidents.
I hope Mabrey is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and gets the punishment he deserves. He should also be held civilly liable for this accident and fatal injuries. However, this news article states Mabrey may have been living out of the truck, registered to his passenger. It is unclear whether he had a valid driver’s license and it is doubtful if either had motor vehicle insurance. In this case, Dowdy’s family could be compensated through the uninsured/underinsured motorist clause in her auto insurance.
Dowdy’s family would be well-served to contact a reputed San Diego personal injury lawyer, who will help them hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions. A skilled auto accident lawyer can also explore other aspects of the incident such as a dangerous condition on the roadway or intersection. In cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim, which would compensate them for medical/funeral expenses and loss of wages.