Drunk driving suspected in LA freeway accident that leaves six dead
A 21-year-old California woman has been arrested in connection with a recent freeway accident that resulted in multiple fatalities in the community of Diamond Bar, which is located roughly 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. According to a report by USA Today, the woman was arrested based upon allegations that she drove the wrong way down 60 Freeway while intoxicated.
Witnesses to the horrific car accident told the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that the car being driven by the accused was moving at speeds of up to 100 mph on southbound 57 Freeway before merging onto westbound 60 Freeway traveling east. Subsequently, her car hit an SUV traveling in the opposite direction, resulting in a head-on collision.
Tragically, four individuals traveling in the SUV died in the crash – two perishing in the accident itself and two later at the hospital. Additionally, two passengers in the vehicle being driven by the accused also died at the scene of the accident.
According to the CHP, there was evidence of alcoholic beverages at the scene, resulting in the woman being arrested on charges of felony drunk driving and manslaughter.
Liability following California drunk driving accidents
Unfortunately, this recent accident is merely the latest example of how drunk driving continues to plague the nation’s highways despite the fact that lawmakers are constantly passing harsher criminal drunk driving laws.
However, in addition to these criminal penalties, victims of drunk driving car accidents in California need to be aware that they may be able seek damages against intoxicated drivers in civil court as well. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Moreover, punitive damages may be available if the driver is legally intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Interestingly, California bars and taverns may also be liable following drunk driving accidents if they serve alcohol to someone under the age of 21 who is obviously intoxicated, and this underage patron subsequently gets behind the wheel and injures another – a form of legal responsibility known as Dram Shop liability. It should be noted, however, that California bars enjoy statutory protection from civil liability should the patron be over the age of 21, even though it is still misdemeanor to serve alcohol to this person if he or she is already intoxicated.
Sadly, drunk driving among those under the age of 21 is more common than many would like to believe. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times reports that the driver allegedly at fault in the recent wrong-way freeway accident had a drunk driving conviction when she was just 17-years-old.
This is even less surprising when you consider that over 8 percent of all California DUI arrests in 2010 involved drivers under the age of 21, according to the California Department of Alcohol & Drug Programs. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also estimates that high school students alone drink and drive about 2.4 million times each month.
If a drunk driver on a California roadway has injured you or a loved one, it is often best to consult with an experienced car accident attorney. A skilled attorney can help investigate the cause of your accident and assist in seeking the compensation to may be entitled.
Our founding attorney, Scott J. Corwin, has more than 30 years of experience in representing victims of DUI and drunk drivers injured in all forms of motor vehicle, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California