A 34-year-old man is clinging to life after an alleged drunk driver struck him on the early morning of April 8, according to authorities in Tulare County. The California Highway Patrol has confirmed the arrest of the driver involved in the single vehicle crash that left another man with critical injuries. It is not clear at this time whether the victim will survive, and the driver was in custody as of the report.
According to surveillance video captured by the California Highway Patrol, a 22-year-old man who is believed to have been drunk behind the wheel drove directly through a stop sign before plowing into the driveway and the truck parked there. The 34-year-old man, who rented part of the home for himself and his young daughter, had both of his legs severed in the impact and is currently in critical condition. The driver also narrowly missed striking a propane tank.
The driver allegedly ran from the scene of the accident, but was found hiding in his home by police. The man suffered only minor injuries, and he now faces DUI charges. These will add to existing DUI and traffic charges both in Tulare and Kern counties. No trial date has yet been set.
Drunk driving accidents are preventable, and carry a heavy penalties here in California. Given the extent of the victim’s injuries, however, he and his representation may wish to seek further legal recourse in this case. State law allows him to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in civil court, using any evidence of intoxication to support his claim. This may lead to the court awarding financial damages to the victim, which may help with medical costs and other monetary damages moving forward.