Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

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California DUI crash kills 2, injures 1

A man reportedly driving under the influence of alcohol faces charges for vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI after a crash in Bakersfield. The two-vehicle accident killed two people and injured one person on Aug. 30.

The accident happened around 12:45 a.m. off of Verdugo Lane on Rosedale Highway when a Ford Crown Victoria rear-ended a compact car while speeding on the highway. One woman was pulled from the compact car by a bystander after the vehicle went up in flames, but the driver of the car and another passenger were trapped in the vehicle and died at the scene. The woman went to a local hospital after suffering serious injuries.

The driver of the Ford is a 29-year-old man who was taken into custody, and he was arrested once in April and once in May for being drunk in public. He is waiting for sentencing after a plea bargain for the April incident and is awaiting trial for the May arrest.

A driver in this case faces criminal charges, but a family who loses a loved one may want to file a civil suit when a fatal crash happens due to negligence. This allows a family to seek compensation from the responsible driver for funeral costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

In wrongful death or personal injury cases, a driver is at fault when his or her actions substantially contributed to one's injuries. Drivers have a duty to others on the road to act responsibly and are liable when they break this duty and someone becomes injured. Negligent actions may include drinking and driving, speeding, texting and driving, running a stop light or tailgating. In a drunk driving case, one might use witness statements, police reports and toxicology tests to show a driver was behaving irresponsibly.

Source: BakersfieldNow, "2 killed in collision, 1 arrested for alleged DUI", Eric Galvan, September 02, 2014

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