Suspected drunk driver alleged to have killed 1
The California Highway Patrol reportedly investigated an accident that occurred on Jan. 18 in Corona and arrested a driver. The other driver was apparently seriously injured, and his passenger was killed in the collision, which happened just after 4 a.m. on the 91 Freeway.
Reportedly, a 30-year-old Menifee man driving east on the Freeway collided into the back of a Honda. The Honda was reportedly stopped due to a prior accident. When the 30-year-old man crashed into the Honda, the Honda burst into flames. The driver of that vehicle was able to exit the vehicle, but the female passenger was reportedly trapped. She died as a result.
The Honda's driver was transported for treatment of his injuries to UC Irvine, where he was reportedly in serious condition. The allegedly drunk Menifee man reportedly had minor injuries and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Troopers are still investigating the accident and have not released any information regarding the alleged drunk driver's toxicology or breath test results. It is unclear whether samples have been taken.
When a person dies in a car accident due to the actions of a drunk or negligent driver, his or her family may file a wrongful death civil lawsuit in order to seek recovery of damages. A personal injury attorney may file a lawsuit whether or not the drunk driver also has a pending criminal case for the same event. The law allows both criminal and civil cases to proceed simultaneously. The burden of proof in civil actions is lower than that required in criminal cases, so even if a drunk driver is found to be not guilty by a jury in the criminal case, he or she may still be civilly liable in the civil matter. Through a lawsuit, families may receive compensation for the losses they suffered as a result.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Driver arrested on suspicion of DUI after fiery crash leaves 1 dead," Emily Reyes, Jan. 18, 2015