Chanel Garcia, 26, has died from injuries she suffered in a Huntington Beach motorcycle accident. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, police said Garcia was riding her motorcycle southbound on Beach Boulevard just north of Liberty Drive the evening of May 31 when she slowed down for a traffic signal. As she did so, Garcia was hit from behind by an SUV after the driver failed to yield.
Police were called to the scene and found Garcia with significant injuries when they arrived. The SUV’s driver, identified as 26-year-old Christopher Johnstone of Costa Mesa, remained at the scene and cooperated with officers. He was arrested after police suspected he was driving under the influence of drugs. Police are still investigating the crash. It is not known at this time if Johnstone will face additional charges after Garcia’s death.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Chanel Garcia for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the SUV that ended up rear-ending the motorcyclist may have been under the influence of drugs. We trust officials are also looking at the circumstances behind the driver’s failure to yield to the motorcyclist, resulting in the rear-end collision. Was he affected because he was impaired by drugs? Was he distracted, inattentive, or otherwise negligent? California Vehicle Code 23152 (a) makes it illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
In such cases, where negligence or wrongdoing may have played a part, families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver, even though the driver may be facing criminal charges and penalties. Wrongful death lawsuits compensate victims’ families for losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering, and loss of love, care, and companionship.
Victims’ families would be well advised to contact an experienced Huntington Beach motorcycle accident lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and make sure their legal rights and best interests are protected.