Five people were injured including a 2-month-old infant when a suspected DUI driver crashed into several vehicles in South Los Angeles early morning on December 2, 2016. According to a KTLA news report, the crash occurred in the 700 block of East Vernon Avenue. Surveillance video recorded near the scene of the crash shows a BMW slamming into the back of a car that was parked along Vernon and then hit other vehicles in the area. The vehicle that was hit had its emergency lights on and video showed people outside the vehicle frantically waving prior to the impact.
The suspect vehicle swerved after the crash and plowed into another pedestrian in the area. Several other vehicles in the area may have been damaged from the crash, officials said. A 25-year-old man had his leg severed in the crash and the 2-month-old suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The extent of the other victims’ injuries is unknown. A 27-year-old man who was driving the BMW that crashed into the other vehicles was expected to be charged with felony driving under the influence. The incident is under investigation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured victims of this crash. We wish them the very best for a quick recovery.
DUI Crash Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2013 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 88 fatalities and 1,948 injuries involving DUI crashes in the city of Los Angeles. Countywide, 217 people died and 4,251 were injured as a result of alcohol- and drug-related traffic accidents during the same year.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the BMW was under the influence when he slammed into the stopped cars. Officials suspect he was impaired. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The same section also prohibits motorists from driving with a blood alcohol concentration or BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
In addition to facing criminal charges and penalties, DUI drivers can be held financially liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost income, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering. Injured victims would also be well advised to retain the services of a DUI victim lawyer who will ensure that their rights are protected every step of the way that that the at-fault parties are held accountable.