Anthony Duran, 14, was killed in an Orange County DUI accident after a suspected drunk driver struck him. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the fatal pedestrian accident occurred on Rose Drive near Castner Drive in Placentia, the night of January 11, 2013.
Police say the boy was riding his skateboard north on Rose Drive when a vehicle hit him. The driver of the car was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, but was released pending further investigation. Police are also looking into whether speed was a factor. Duran was transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries. The investigation is ongoing.
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2010 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were no fatalities, but 17 injuries involving DUI crashes in Placentia. In Orange County as a whole, 45 people were killed and 1,317 were injured due to alcohol-related crashes during the same year.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news account, officials suspect speed and/or alcohol may have been factors. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in California while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is against the law to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
Driving at an unsafe speed is also illegal. California Vehicle Code Section 22350 (Basic Speed Law) states: “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic and on surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
In such cases, the at-fault party can be held liable for the victim’s wrongful death. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will also be able to determine if a dangerous condition caused or contributed to the incident. If that was the case, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can be held liable. Any injury or wrongful death claim against a governmental agency must be filed with six months of the incident under California Government Code Section 911.2.