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Los Angeles Car Accident Victim’s Mother Seeks Justice

By Brian Chase on August 17, 2009 - 3 comments

Here is a news article that talks about the concerns of a family that lost a beloved member in a Los Angeles car accident. According to this news report in the Whittier Daily News, Kimberly Richter, the mother of 15-year-old Andre Emilio Leon, wants answers from the California Highway Patrol about the April 21, 2009 head-on collision with a wrong-way driver that allegedly killed her son. Richter basically wants to know why the pickup’s driver, 19-year-old Derik Armstrong, was not tested for alcohol or drugs that night and why he has not been arrested although he has prior traffic violations.

California Car Accident Investigation Ongoing

CHP officials have said that they are still completing their investigation and once that’s done they will submit the case to the District Attorney’s office that will then decide whether to file charges. Richter believes Armstrong deliberately drove on the wrong side of Leffingwell Road, which is a divided road. She believes Armstrong should be facing vehicular manslaughter charges. She questions why her son, who was a passenger, and his older sister were tested for alcohol when Armstrong, who was driving on the wrong side of the road, was let go without any alcohol or drug testing. CHP officials responded by saying that an officer determined Armstrong was not under the influence the night of the crash, but the officer did not administer a blood alcohol test.

CHP officers also said Armstrong was traveling at 45 mph that night. But Richter doesn’t buy that. She says her son had a crushed jaw and cheek and the bones protruded through his left leg. He died of blunt force trauma. She also says the Leons’ Nissan’s roof was torn off and one of the car doors landed about 30 feet away from the point of impact. “You’re going to get that at 45 mph?” she asks. Andre died of complications from traumatic brain injury. Richter said she chose to stop the feedings and medications because she wanted her son to die with dignity instead of having him as a vegetable all his life. For her son’s 16th birthday on June 17, she bought a metal gate to go around his grave.

Personal Injury Victim’s Family Seeks Justice

This is a mother looking for justice. My heart goes out to Kimberly Richter not only for her tragic and heartbreaking loss, but also because she has not gotten that sense of closure that she is desperately seeking now. As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I believe that a lot of the questions Richter is asking are absolutely valid. When you’re dealing with a wrong way driver, the investigator should have tested him not only for alcohol, but also for drugs. It’s usually hard to tell when a person is driving under the influence of recreational or prescription drugs because there is no odor or obvious symptoms as in the case of alcohol use. It’s tough to understand why Armstrong was let go without a blood or urine test. The fact that he left the scene in a hurry without getting medical attention also raises suspicions.

We could give Armstrong the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was not intoxicated or otherwise impaired. But even if he was deliberately driving on the wrong side of the road, just for thrills, he needs to be held criminally and civilly liable for the accident, injuries and heartache caused to the Leon family. More than anything else, a mother has lost her child. That’s an irreparable loss no amount of compensation can cover.

Posted in: Car Accidents

3 Responses to “Los Angeles Car Accident Victim’s Mother Seeks Justice”

  1. On
    desiree said:

    well my dad was the witness of the crash he is the one that called 911 but he has passes away 3 months ago so sadly he cant not help. but i can tell you what my dad told me that night after he had seen the accident of andre.my dad said he was going down the street and out of no where he saw this truck so he moved out of the way then after he did that thats when armstrong had hit raquel and andre. the next day i saw my dad reading something online and he was saying stuff to me saying there was no way he was going 45 to me it looked like he was going 60. also my dad had told me how can someone not get charged when he made a perfect you turn then start going straight down the road he told me everything and that the guy was basically playing chicken. i feel really bad my dad had to see it i wish he was still here so her could talk to someone about it cause i know thats what he would do cause he got really mad after he found out who it was that got hit cause all of us know raquel andre and the family. also my dad told me that he didnt have his heaadlights on. so i really hope the CHP knows what they are doing cause they would be stupid to let that guy go out agian exspecially if that is his third accident. people get introuble for stupid things but when stuff like this happens and they get nothing that is just telling everybody that its ok to hit someone and kill them and it is not ok it is WRONG. well i hope some of this info is useful. – desiree

  2. On
    mary burrus said:

    Just so all of those who judge; I can not blame you for being angry or seeking justice. Just so you know he was convicted, paid his time, never drove a car since the day of the accident.

    He has however been in a coma after being struck by a car while jogging and his family has had to make the same decisions as Andre’s.

    I say to each person who is quick to judge, have you ever sped, have you ever ran a red light, do you ever forget to look over shoulder and have you ever done anything careless as a teenager.

    What we have is two young boys whose lives destroyed and two families who will love and miss them forever, they were both far to young. A tragegy for all families and friends for both.

    To both families my prayers go out to you; may you find forgiveness and peace in your life.

  3. On
    Fernando said:

    after hearing everything Derik did and how he carried himself the more I know the less simpathy I feel for him passing away.
    the straw that broke the camel’s back for me is how is it possible for these stupid officers to perform a test on the injured and let go the man responsible without one?
    you hear rumors that Derik knew somebody and was somehow connected it seems believeable since he got away with a slap on the wrist, too bad where he is right now no one can influence his “release” now his family is in the Leon’s family shoes.

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