Miguel Melchor, 21, was killed in a Riverside car accident which officials say, involved a drunk driver. According to a news article in The Press-Enterprise, the fatal DUI crash occurred at the intersection of Rancho California Road and Meadows Parkway in Temecula, the night of December 24 2011. Officials report the driver of a white Toyota Tacoma pickup was under the influence of alcohol when he drove through a red light and collided with a Toyota Tundra pickup. Melchor was pronounced dead at a nearby medical center and three others were hospitalized with injuries.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Miguel Melchor for their terrible loss. My thoughts and prayers are also with the injured victims of this tragic car crash. I wish them all the best for a complete and speedy recovery.
Riverside County DUI Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), three people were killed and 17 were injured as a result of DUI collisions in the city of Temecula. During that same year, there were 87 fatalities and 986 injuries reported as a result of alcohol-related crashes, in Riverside County as a whole.
Violation of Laws
Based on this news report, the driver of the Toyota Tacoma was not only driving under the influence, but also ran a red light at the intersection before crashing into the other vehicle. California Vehicle Code Section 21453 (a) states: “A driver facing a circular red signal shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.” A driver whose act of driving under the influence results in the death of another will likely face vehicular manslaughter charges under California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a).
In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, the family of a deceased victim would be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer, who has a successful track record of financially pursuing drunk and negligent drivers. Family members can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party seeking compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income and benefits, loss of companionship, and other related damages. For more information about the dangers of driving under the influence, please visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) web site at www.madd.org.