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Street Racing Suspected in Fatal Riverside Crash

Two people identified as Rosy Vargas, 35, and Monica Rochin, 49, were killed in a Riverside car accident, which officials say, may have involved street racing and a suspected drunk driver.  According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, the fatal accident occurred on July 7, 2013 at the intersection of Domenigoni Parkway and Leon Road in Winchester.  California Highway Patrol officials say a 2011 Ford Ranger and a blue SUV, likely a Ford Escape, were racing. At the same time, Vargas, who was driving a 1994 Lexus sedan north on Leon Road was crossing the intersection with the light.

 Several Victims Involved

The Ranger entered the intersection at a high rate of speed and crashed into the Lexus on the driver’s side. The pickup then drove over the Lexus crushing its front end and peeling away the roof. Vargas and Rochin, her passenger, died at the scene. The backseat passengers — 54-year-old Felipe Rangel, of Hemet, 17-year old Selena Monge, of Menifee, and 5-year-old Christopher Monge, of Menifee — sustained moderate to minor injuries. Noel Mayorga, 38, the driver of the pickup truck, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. The driver of the SUV did not stop. Officials are searching for that driver and vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the deceased victims for their tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are also with the injured victims of this horrific crash. I wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

 Violation of Laws

Based on this news report, the two vehicles may have been street racing when one of them crashed into the victims’ vehicle. California Vehicle Code section 23109 (a) states: “A person shall not engage in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway. As used in this section, a motor vehicle speed contest includes a motor vehicle race against another vehicle, a clock, or other timing device.” In addition, one of the drivers failed to remain at the scene of this fatal crash, which is a violation of California Vehicle Code 20001 (a).

 Protecting Victims’ Rights

In such cases where negligence or wrongdoing is involved, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages such as medical and funeral costs, lost future income and loss of love and companionship. Injured victims can file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for their losses. Victims and their families in such cases would also be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.

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