Upcoming 26-year-old comedian Angelo Bowers was killed in a Los Angeles car accident that was caused by a suspected drunk driver, who also attempted to flee the scene. According to a KTLA news report, the fatal DUI collision occurred early morning on January 3, 2012 at the intersection of Vine and Yucca streets in Hollywood. Bowers was a passenger in a Jeep Wrangler that was northbound on Vine when a Toyota Matrix hit it.
Officials say the 21-year-old male DUI suspect, who was driving the Toyota, had caused an earlier crash by making an illegal U-turn at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue and hitting a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria taxicab. Bowers was fatally injured while the driver of the Jeep Wrangler, Bowers’ friend and fellow comedian Josh Adam Meyers, suffered major injuries. The hit-and-run driver is expected to be booked for murder after he is released from the hospital.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Angelo Bowers for their sudden loss. By all accounts, Bowers was not only a well-known and talented comedian, but also much loved by the Los Angeles comedy community. Bowers was a cancer survivor. Tragic! Please keep his grieving family in your thoughts and prayers. I also wish Meyers the very best for a quick and complete recovery.
Los Angeles DUI Accidents
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 83 people were killed and 2,218 were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes in Los Angeles. Countywide, there were 204 fatalities and 4,672 injuries reported as a result of DUI collisions, during that same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, the Toyota driver was under the influence at the time of these crashes, had made an illegal U-turn, and fled the scene of the initial accident. Then, he went on to cause this violent crash five minutes after the first one! 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.” It is also illegal to leave the scene of an injury collision under California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a).
Drunk drivers, in addition to facing criminal charges, can be held civilly liable for the damages and losses they cause. The family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault motorist seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, and loss of companionship. Injured victims can file a claim for compensation seeking damages such as medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to better advise injured victims or their families in such cases about their legal rights and options. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.